At the Rink: Bruins at Flyers

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 5:20 PM | Adam Kimelman  - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will be a game-time decision against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NESN, CSN-PH), Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

"If he's 100 percent he's going. That hasn't been answered yet," Julien said.

Rask was expected to start for the Bruins (25-17-5) on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets but was removed from the lineup just before the puck dropped because of a lower-body injury. Rask was the backup while Jonas Gustavsson started and made 31 saves in the Bruins' 3-2 shootout victory.

At the Bruins' morning skate, Rask was a full participant and the first goaltender off the ice.

The goaltending situation wasn't the only unsettled issue for the Bruins, who switched their forward lines at the morning skate.

Ryan Spooner, who had been playing right wing with center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand, was at right wing with center David Krejci and left wing Loui Eriksson. Brett Connolly, who was scratched from the lineup Saturday, was at right wing with Bergeron and Marchand.

It's another position switch for Spooner, a natural center who also has played left wing recently.

"I've just got to get to the front of the net again," Spooner said. "[Krejci] is a good passer, so I've got to get to the open spots for him and see if that works for me. … [Moving around] isn't something I've really done before. I like to think I'm smart enough to go out there. Playing right or left is fine with me for sure."

Spooner, 23, already has set personal NHL bests with 10 goals and 35 points in 47 games, but most of that time has come playing center. He's willing to play on the wing, but he's still in the learning phase of the position.

"I'm just so used to playing in the middle of the ice that sometimes I just go there because I'm used to it," Spooner said. "I definitely need to be a little more aware when I'm coming back to my zone that I'm on the wall."

Jordan Weal will make his debut for the Flyers (20-17-8) on Monday. It will be his first game since Dec. 28, when he was with the Los Angeles Kings. He had been a healthy scratch in the seven games since the Flyers acquired him in a Jan. 6 trade for Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn.

With Weal coming in, Sam Gagner will be a healthy scratch. Gagner had been recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Thursday prior to a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and was a minus-1 with four shots on goal in 15:24 of ice time.

"I would like to put Jordan in tonight," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "I think he's worked for that opportunity. This isn't a time for evaluations but he's earned an opportunity and we need him to go in and help our lineup tonight."

With Gagner's removal from the lineup, Michael Raffl will move from left wing to center on the second line, with Matt Read moving up to Raffl's spot at left wing. Raffl has played center sporadically during his three seasons with the Flyers but this will be his first time there this season.

Weal will play right wing on the fourth line, with R.J. Umberger at left wing and Scott Laughton at center.

In addition to his even-strength play, Weal could see time on the second power-play unit. Hakstol said he wanted to use the practice as a chance to try something new on the second power play, so he had Weal centering Raffl and Read with defensemen Mark Streit and Brandon Manning at the points. Manning replaced defenseman Michael Del Zotto at the point on the left side.

"We wanted to see him [Weal] on that power play," Hakstol said. "Not a lot of practice time. Even thought it's morning skate, that's a good time to see him [Weal] on that unit."

Weal admitted it had been frustrating sitting out so long but that he used his extra skating time to get accustomed the Flyers' style of play.

"I think practices have been getting me ready," he said. "Had a lot of game-situation drills in practice which has definitely helped. Got you a little more comfortable with the guys in game situations, with the players. It's going to be good to get back out there if I can and work hard and battle with the guys."

Manning will play after sitting out the past four games. He'll replace Evgeny Medvedev in the lineup.

"Last game ... just some inconsistencies on the defensive side," Hakstol said of Medvedev. "More so than what he's not doing, it's what [Manning] brings. Brandon can go in and be a consistent penalty killer for us. Little bit different player than what Evgeny is. It's not necessarily the things that [Medvedev] doesn't do, it's that Brandon is a little different player."

The Flyers have lost two straight (0-2-0) and had their game Saturday against the New York Islanders postponed because of winter storm that hit the Northeast during the weekend. This will be their first game since last Thursday.

"It's a frustrating situation," Hakstol said. "You're there, you're ready, you want to play the game. Especially for us, we were coming off back-to-back losses. But you don't control Mother Nature. It was get on the bus, turn the page, get home and try to get ready for today."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly

Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - Ryan Spooner

Matt Beleskey - Joonas Kemppainen - David Pastrnak

Zac Rinaldo - Max Talbot - Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman

Joe Morrow - Dennis Seidenberg

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: Adam McQuaid (upper body), Chris Kelly (broken left femur)

Scratched: Landon Ferraro, Tyler Randell, Colin Miller


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read - Michael Raffl - Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

R.J. Umberger - Scott Laughton - Jordan Weal

Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Injured: Sean Couturier (lower body)

Scratched: Sam Gagner, Evgeny Medvedev

Status report: Julien said some of the thinking behind switching the lines is to create better offensive balance. In the past four games Marchand and Bergeron have scored seven of the Bruins' 12 goals. Pastrnak is the only player with more than one goal in that span. "We need to be good on the rush, we need to be good in the [offensive] zone," Julien said. "Sometimes you have to move players around to try and accomplish that." ... Mason was given a maintenance day Monday and did not skate, but Hakstol said Mason will serve as the backup against the Bruins. ... Couturier will miss his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Hakstol said he remains day-to-day.

Who's hot: Marchand has goals in four straight games. … Gostisbehere has one goal and two assists in his past two games.

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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