BOSTON (CBS) — Dennis Seidenberg continues to get closer to being able to return to game action, but head coach Claude Julien does not expect the defenseman to make that return Tuesday night in Game 3 against the Rangers.

Julien addressed the media Tuesday morning and said he’d be “surprised” if Seidenberg is available to play in Game 3. Seidenberg has been out since suffering an apparent leg injury on his first shift of Game 7 against the Maple Leafs, but he did practice with the team on Monday for the first time since the injury.

Fellow injured defenseman Wade Redden, meanwhile, appears to be a bit further along on the recovery track, as Julien said Redden remains day-to-day and did not rule him out for Game 3.

If Redden is available, the coach will be left with a tough decision on the blue line. Rookies Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug have filled in marvelously in the first two games of this series, leading to speculation that fellow rookie Dougie Hamilton could be most at risk of being made a healthy scratch. If Hamilton were to be scratched, it would force a left-handed shot to play on the right side in place of him, which Julien does not have the personnel to do comfortably, particularly on the road when he doesn’t have the benefit of last change.

That would likely lead to Krug sitting down, a tough call considering he has two goals and an assist so far this series. However, he had just 12:56 of time on ice, compared to Bartkowski’s 20:52 and Hamilton’s 15:10, an indication that despite the offense, Julien’s trust level in Krug may not be as high as it is with the other two rookie D-men.


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