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Bruins undecided on fourth-line configuration

Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / Stanley Cup Final series blog

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Stanley Cup Final series blog
Bruins undecided on fourth-line configuration

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien would not reveal who will play fourth-line left wing for the Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Julien did admit what already was obvious, that the decision is between Kaspars Daugavins and Carl Soderberg.

Daugavins has played in all four games of the Cup Final; Soderberg, who signed with the Bruins late in the regular season, has not played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They rotated with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during line rushes in the morning skate Saturday, with Daugavins going first.

"We're trying to find the best fit possible so I have to look at whether I feel comfortable staying with Daugavins or, as you know right now it's been between Soderberg and Daugavins," Julien said. "They're two different players. Size-wise they're different. One is obviously real gritty along the walls [Daugavins], and the other one is probably more of a playmaker [Soderberg]. There is a difference there, and that's where I have to make my decision, what I feel I may need for [Game 5]."

Daugavins said he has not been told if he is in. Soderberg told a group of Swedish reporters he did not know either.

"No idea," he said. "I just get ready for the game, show up to the rink with everyone and we'll find out then, I guess. I'm preparing for a game like I do every day."

Julien said he has been tinkering between using Daugavins and Soderberg throughout the Cup Final, but Daugavins' experience has won out. Soderberg played in six games and had two assists after signing a three-year contract with the Bruins on April 13.

Asked why he has been tinkering, Julien responded, "Because I'm the coach. Because I can."

Regardless of who plays that fourth-line role, it's unlikely he will be on the ice that much. Daugavins played nine shifts totaling 5:57 in Game 4, including two shifts in the third period and two in overtime. He played 6:30 in Game 3 and 8:28 in Game 2 after playing 15:09 in the triple-overtime Game 1.

"It's more nerve-wracking sitting on the bench than being on the ice," Daugavins said. "When you go out there you go into game mode. Like, you don't even think about it, you just play. It's like your instincts come in and you just play. When you sit on the bench and watch, you're like a super fan. You cheer for the guys and you get nervous when the puck is close to your net. You pull your hair when there is a good scoring chance for somebody."

Here is what the Bruins' lineup will look like for Game 5 based on the morning skate, with the choice between Daugavins and Soderberg on the fourth line:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Jaromir Jagr

Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin

Carl Soderberg / Kaspars Daugavins - Rich Peverley - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Carl Soderberg or Kaspars Daugavins, Jay Pandolfo, Jordan Caron, Aaron Johnson, Wade Redden, Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton

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Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets