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BOSTON (CBS) – A trio of young defensemen filled in nicely for the Boston Bruins in their Game 1 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night, but there is a possibility one of them could be back on the bench — or in Providence — for Sunday’s Game 2.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien said it was too early to tell if any of his three injured veteran blue-liners could return for Sunday’s Game 2 against New York, but that remains a possibility.
“A little early to say,” Julien said Friday morning from the TD Garden. “Again, it is two days, and two days in the playoffs makes a big difference as far as getting guys back. There’s a possibility, that much I can say. Whether they will or not is too early to say right now.
Veteran defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden all missed Game 1 due to undisclosed injuries, replaced by rookies Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug.
But instead of getting lost in the spotlight, Julien said the young players helped the Bruins play better in transition on Thursday night.
“They didn’t sit on their heels, they didn’t just freeze and try and move the puck standing still, they carried it when they had the ice. There’s no doubt that gave us a real good transition game, last night,” said Julien. “Whether some of those guys come back or not, we’ve got to keep doing the same thing.”
The Bruins did not pracitce on Friday, but Seidenberg was seen walking in the locker room. He declined to speak to the media, but remains the likeliest of candidates to return on Sunday.
But if he can’t go, Julien and the Bruins can rest a little easier knowing their trio of youngsters are more than up to the task on the blue line.
Krug even contributed in the offensive side of things, scoring his first career NHL goal early in the third period to tie the game at 2-2.
“What we’ve seen from him the few games he’s played with us is he doesn’t seem to be intimidated by anything, or any circumstances,” Julien said of Krug. “He comes into our lineup last night and I thought he played just like I’ve seen him play all the time. I didn’t see a guy that was nervous at all. If anything, I saw a guy that was extremely confident at making the executions that he needed to make. Not only, his goal but the plays he made coming out of his own end.”
“He’s a pretty smart player and a pretty confident player,” Julien added.
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