Kelly, McQuaid Out as B's Look to Bounce Back vs Panthers
There were only two Bruins missing from the ice, as GM Peter Chiarelli announced yesterday that Chris Kelly is out indefinitely with a broken left tibia he suffered against the Ottawa Senators and Adam McQuaid did not join the team for the full skate. Instead, he took some turns with Strength & Conditioning Coach John Whitesides between the blue lines as the skate began to break up.
During his pregame press conference, Coach Julien said McQuaid was "day-to-day. Just a minor injury, he’s not going to play tonight. But, should be hopefully good to go from tomorrow on."
Tuukka Rask was first off the ice, but not long before Anton Khudobin. Though, due to Khudobin playing Tuesday night and Tuukka not getting the back-to-back due to him battling the flu, I’d take a strong guess that No. 40 will be back between the pipes tonight. I'll get confirmation at 6:30, depending on which goaltender leads the B's out for warm ups.
With McQuaid out, Aaron Johnson will get the call, though it’s not clear yet if he will slide in next to Andrew Ference on the third pairing, or if Coach will switch up the defensive pairings (if Johnson simply slots in, it would be Chara-Boychuk, Seidenberg-Hamilton, Ference-Johnson).
"Yeah, but so can some other guys, too," Coach said, on if Johnson could play on either side of the ice. "Again, you’re probably going to see a mixture of partners tonight. There’s nothing unusual from our end."
Here are line rushes from the skate:
Paille-Campbell-Thornton (MacDermid rotating in)
Match-Up: Boston (17-4-3) vs Florida (7-14-6)
The Bruins come into tonight wanting to bounce back, following their backbreaker in Pittsburgh that saw a 2-0 lead quickly evaporate into a 3-2 loss, and leave a sting in the B's locker room.
"It's about realizing that the last 20 is unacceptable and we've got to get back at it," Bergeron said following the loss. "Obviously, you look at the schedule, we have no time to think about it. It's about regrouping and begin ready for Thursday."
The B's had Wednesday's off day to think about what improvements they can bring into tonight. While a frustrating loss, the Bruins' first 40 minutes were solid and the PK went 4-for-4 on the night and has now killed 20 straight penalties, last allowing a power-play goal on March 3 against Montreal.
"For taking a positive from last game, the penalty kill was strong with the talent that they have offensively," said Daniel Paille following morning skate. "If you look at the first two periods, actually first two periods and a half, we looked like a solid team against another solid team and we were getting the better of them and a letdown that unfortunately they came back and won and got the two points."
The Black & Gold will be looking within their own room, as they look to not come out flat against a Panthers team that has lost their past seven of eight, including a 3-2 defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night (one they tied up 2-2 after going down 2-0 early, but were unable to snap their losing streak).
"Well, to be honest with you, it’s what I expect from our team more than theirs right now," Coach say post-skate, when asked about the Panthers.
"We know they’re banged up, we know they’ve had a lot of injuries and they’ve had their fair share of struggles, but in this league there’s no such thing as an easy game. We should know that by now. Teams come in and there’s upsets every night on the schedule."
"It’s more about how are we going to bounce back from a real disappointing loss. I thought our decision making wasn’t as strong as it should have been. Whether we use the fatigue element, which is hard to ignore when you play three in four nights, but you’ve still got to overcome those things."
"We need to be able to bounce back with a strong outing, the 60 minute performance that we keep talking about. Hopefully, that will get us back on track."