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Kelly Expected to Make Return vs Carolina; Seguin Shifts Back to Wing

Chris Kelly could be back in the lineup tonight vs Canes, centering Tyler Seguin

Monday, 04.8.2013 / 1:12 PM ET / Features
By Caryn Switaj  -
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Kelly Expected to Make Return vs Carolina; Seguin Shifts Back to Wing
On Monday morning, the Bruins held an optional skate at TD Garden, prior to facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 pm (ET), with seven defensemen, 10 forwards and Anton Khudobin all hitting the ice. The biggest news of the morning is that Chris Kelly could be back in the lineup tonight.

BOSTON, MA - On Monday morning, the Bruins held an optional skate at TD Garden, prior to facing off against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 pm (ET), with seven defensemen, 10 forwards and Anton Khudobin all hitting the ice.

Included in that group was center Chris Kelly, who has been skating with the team since April 4 in his recovering from a broken left tibia that has kept him out since March 11, and today he got the much awaited good news - that he was medically cleared. Following the skate, he said that he was feeling good and Coach Julien confirmed shortly thereafter that the centerman was expected to be back in the lineup tonight against Carolina.

"Obviously, when you're out of the lineup for an extended period of time there's going to be some getting used to," said Kelly. "Not rust, but I think you kind of take it for granted when you're playing every day or every other day."

"I'm hoping that the transition won't be too bad and come in and I'll just play my game."

Coach Julien did say that the B's expect Kelly to be in the lineup tonight, but cautioned that would be the case "unless something happens today and we find out something different."

Nonetheless, Coach - like Kelly - is just looking for a simple game, as the center works his way back in.

"Just go out there and play his game. I don’t think we expect anything more out of any player when they come back," said Coach. "He’ s got to ease his way into it, probably short shifts. He’s got to keep his game simple.

"Everything when someone comes back from an injury would do, and hopefully, not gain confidence, but gain momentum as the game wears on."

As the Bruins begin to get healthy, defenseman Adam McQuaid is still on the right track and progressing well, but Coach had told media following Sunday's practice that the D-man would not be in Monday night's lineup against Carolina.

Optional Skate

After a hard, high-intensity practice on Sunday, the B's held an optional Monday morning, with forwards Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, David Krejci and Milan Lucic all choosing to stay off the ice on, along with defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference. Tuukka Rask also stayed off the ice, while Anton Khudobin was the lone netminder joining the team for pregame skate.

Forwards on the ice: Jagr, Campbell, Peverley, Thornton, Seguin, Kelly, Caron, Pandolfo, Daugavins, Horton

Defensemen: McQuaid, Chara, Hamilton, Boychuk, Bartkowski, Redden, Johnson

Projected Lineup

The B's lines have been switched around the past few games, a product of injuries, lack of sustained attack and finding chemistry with the new additions of Jagr and Daugavins, but the Bruins have constantly preached that if they stay within the system, work hard to get on pucks, keep it simple and support one another, it shouldn't matter what line they're on.

According to lines in Sunday's practice, and with the addition of Chris Kelly expected back in, Tyler Seguin is moving back to the wing and most likely skating alongside Kelly.

"Obviously I feel comfortable playing the wing," said Seguin following morning skate. "It was working out, I guess, in the first game [playing center] - a few mistakes there, and then obviously the first couple of shifts in Montreal, it just wasn't working."

"It just wasn't working in our own zone. Going through the neutral zone, just where to [the puck] up, and where to go. Obviously is has a lot more responsibility in your own end just battling and finding your man."

"I don't think it matter what line you're on," he added. "You just want to go out there and play your game. Whoever you're playing with, I think we all know each other well enough now that we can find chemistry right away."

"Obviously, if that's the way lines are tonight, Tyler is a gifted offensive player; it'll be nice to play with him," said Kelly, on possibly centering Seguin. "I've played with him before and we've got some chemistry and work well together."

Here's the projected lineup:



Ference and Seideberg started Saturday's game as a pairing, with Bartkowski and Boychuk together, though towards the second half of the first period (and after Montreal's goal), Coach Julien started pairing Bartkowski mostly with Seidenberg, and Ference with Boychuk, so I'd expect that to stick heading into the start of tonight's game, though warm-ups will be the best indication at 6:30.

Stay tuned to the Bruins mobile app, and updates on Twitter @NHLBruins for more pregame quotes from Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski and Coach Julien heading into tonight...

-Caryn Switaj ^CS




1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48


P. Bergeron 73 21 31 2 52
L. Eriksson 73 19 23 0 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
M. Lucic 73 15 25 10 40
B. Marchand 69 22 17 6 39
C. Soderberg 74 11 27 8 38
R. Smith 73 12 25 8 37
T. Krug 70 12 23 12 35
D. Krejci 39 7 21 7 28
C. Kelly 72 7 20 8 27
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .919 2.30
T. Rask 29 19 12 .921 2.34
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