A somewhat more sparsely-attended morning skate for the Boston Bruins has concluded and, heading into the second meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes this evening, there is some good news regarding a natural center and someone who had been recently pressed into service as one.
Chris Kelly has been medically cleared to play and should be back in the lineup tonight. Actually, Tyler Seguin kind of let the cat out of the bag on that one before coach Claude Julien officially announced it. He added that his own experiment in trying to be a center has concluded and that he will be on the third line as Julien shakes things up a bit to hopefully wake up his club’s offense. These changed-up lines are just projections right now and may very well change yet again before puck drop, but here’s how it is right now:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Jaromir Jagr
Jordan Caron-Rich Peverley-Shawn Thornton
We’ll see if these changes produce any offense or if they’re eventually reverted to some sense of normalcy.
Tuukka Rask was among a few notable names missing from morning skate, so since Anton Khudobin was the only goalie there, it’s kind of hard to tell who left the ice ‘first’ and who will play tonight or not. Both goalies have great records at home, though Khudobin’s is flawless: he’s won all four games inside TD Garden that he started.
Looking to the Hurricanes, the Bruins won their only game to date this season (Jan. 28–it was so long ago, wasn’t it?) by a 5-3 score. In that game, offense was provided from many sources: Seguin, Marchand, Horton, Krejci and Zdeno Chara. Khudobin was in net for that win. The ‘canes have also lost their four most recent games and are 1-10-1 in their past dozen games, both of which are numbers that portend well for Boston even though the Hurricanes seemed to have the Bruins’ number in past seasons.
But will Carolina take Boston’s number again tonight? The only way to find out is to watch the game, which starts at 7 p.m. on NESN or, for fans outside New England, NHL Network.