Pregame in Raleigh: Line Intact, Rask Expected to Start
RALEIGH, NC - All of the healthy Bruins took the ice for morning skate in Raleigh today at PNC Arena, before facing off in their third and final meeting with the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. (ET).
The Hurricanes are now 1-13-1 in their past 15 games (were 1-11-1 when the Bruins exploded for an offensive outburst against them last week), but are still finding a high compete level within themselves, so the B's will be looking to get past their aggressive forecheck and generate offense with some new-look lines.
With top scorers Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron out of the lineup (though Bergeron is back skating and traveling with the team), finding stabilized line combinations is something Coach Julien has been searching for, even before Marchand was ruled out with a "mild concussion" following the B's April 10th game in New Jersey.
With the lines from Thursday's game still intact during Saturday's morning skate, the Bruins will be looking for a balanced attack tonight.
Here are the line combinations from AM skate:
To start the rushes, the defensive pairings were Chara-Boychuk and Ference-McQuaid at one end of the ice, with Seidenberg and Bartkowski starting together at the other, with Dougie Hamilton, Wade Redden and Aaron Johnson rotating in as well.
Hamilton was a healthy scratch last game, as Coach Julien and his staff deemed it important to get the youngster a bit of rest before the postseason, especially since because of his international play with Team Canada and junior season during the lockout, he's been playing non-stop hockey since August. As of noon, since it is before Coach's pregame availability, it has not been confirmed yet if Hamilton will be in the lineup yet tonight or not, but stay tuned to BostonBruins.com and on Twitter @NHLBruins for all of your lineup info heading into tonight.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice for the Bruins at morning skate, so it looks like he could be getting the start in goal tonight against the 'Canes.
-Caryn Switaj ^CS