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At the Rink blog

Bernier expected to make first start for Maple Leafs

Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 6:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Bernier expected to make first start for Maple Leafs

PHILADELPHIA -- Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle did not meet with reporters before Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, but it's expected that the only significant lineup change for them will be in goal. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start after serving as the backup in Tuesday’s 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

"I think both those guys in the preseason played really strong," Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. "The one [preseason] game in Detroit we hung him out to dry a little bit. He's really solid. You notice it in practice, even trying to score on him then, he doesn't give you much to shoot at and he really competes in there."

Teammate Joffrey Lupul said Bernier's puckhandling skills will be a benefit.

"The first thing you notice is he's really calm," Lupul said. "The way he handles shots, he doesn't give up rebounds. And he's really confident playing the puck, which I think can help our defense out a lot. Going back to retrieve pucks, he's good at getting out there behind and hitting the open man."

One player who won't be in the lineup is rookie defenseman Morgan Rielly. The fifth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft earned a role on the season-opening roster, but will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

However, Lupul, one of the leaders on the team, said he isn't worried about Rielly losing any confidence in himself.

"I think right now he's probably happy with the fact that he's on the roster for the time being," Lupul said. "He's a mature guy. Right now they want him to practice and keep picking up some things at practice. He's going to be in there eventually. They didn't keep him here from junior to sit in the press box all year. He's going to get his opportunity. It's his job to be ready and I think he will be."

Here is the Maple Leafs' projected lineup:

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Nikolai Kulemin

Mason Raymond - Dave Bolland - Troy Bodie

Carter Ashton - Jay McClement - Colton Orr

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf

Jake Gardiner - Cody Franson

Mark Fraser - Paul Ranger

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: Morgan Rielly

Suspended: David Clarkson

Injured: Frazer McLaren (hand)

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals