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Bartkowski In, Krug Starting on Right Side as Bruins Host Sharks

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - The Bruins host the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden on Tuesday night, looking to build off of their road trip and begin to establish dominance at home.

Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 9.85 The Sports Hub).

With Monday's news that defenseman Kevan Miller is out indefinitely with a dislocated right shoulder, suffered at the end of a fight on Saturday in Buffalo, Matt Bartkowski is expected to slot into the lineup. It will mark his second game of the season.

Bartkowski was paired with Adam McQuaid during Tuesday morning's pregame skate at TD Garden and also during Monday's practice.

Torey Krug moved up to the second pairing with Dennis Seidenberg. Both Krug and Seidenberg are left shots. Based on the morning skate, Krug will start out on the right side side, though both defensemen have experience playing on the off side.

"We played last year together - I like playing with Torey. Like everybody knows, he's a great skater, he can move the puck, can move his legs," Seidenberg said following the skate. "I think we complement each other very well and I'm looking forward to it."

"I think in the beginning, it might take a couple of shifts to get used to," said Krug, of starting on the right. "I played the right all season in Providence and it's just a different look at the ice, different vantage point - I find myself skating forward than I do backwards than I do on the right side for whatever reason."

"Loved it, actually, and then I came back up here [from Providence] and was used to the left side, so I think everyone in this room can play any position - that's why we're all in this League."

With Bartkowski in the lineup, that puts a pace pusher on each pairing to start the game (Dougie Hamilton adds the wheels to the Bruins' top pairing with Zdeno Chara).

"It's definitely a different feel," Krug said, of the dynamic of the defense corps when Bartkowski is in. "Guys bring different things to the table. Millsy brings the grit and the hard work and he's a fast skater as well, but Bart likes to get his wheels going and helps our team in different ways, so there's definitely benefits to having each different guy in the lineup, for sure."

Seidenberg acknowledged that he and the other vets can't move quite as fast as the young D can.

"No, no we can't," he smiled. "It helps if you can have guys who can really move their legs and push the pace and bring the puck up the ice. It gives us a different dynamic at the back end, and it's always good."

"In the end, our job is to keep the puck out of our net and support the attack, and that's what our plan is."

While the defensemen will rotate during the game depending on matchups ("You're up, Zee!"), penalty killing, defensive zone faceoffs and situations late in the game, Krug is being given more of a top-four role.

"It always comes down to being responsible and that's what I've been trying to do," Krug said. "I talked to management and the coaching staff last season, how I wanted to become a top-four defenseman and get rid of that offensive defenseman title, but that just comes with the responsibility, so it's a good test for myself."

"And the thing is, everybody in here plays against everybody in here. Even in the bottom half of our D corps, we always match up against different lines, so it's not going to be any different."

As for Head Coach Claude Julien, he's approaching the situation as he has in the past.

"You deal with injuries all the time," Julien said. "You always fear the worst and hope for the best. No matter what, at the end of the day, you live with it. You make the adjustments."

"Other players have opportunities, and it’s up to them to seize those."

Griffth Playing with Lucic and Krejci

Seth Griffith was back skating with Boston on Monday, after being recalled from Providence.

He assumed his previous position on the right wing alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci, where he'll start on Tuesday night against San Jose in his fourth NHL game.

Julien has bounced back and forth from having Griffith and veteran Simon Gagne in that right wing spot. Gagne will start Tuesday on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell.

If the Bruins are trailing late in the game, though, look for Julien to possibly move the vet back up with Lucic and Krejci.

"As much as you guys are used to seeing me with stable lines, I don’t mind moving guys around like that," said Julien. "It’s not about me looking, necessarily, for somebody to seize that spot. I’m going to use it as I feel is needed and [Seth] Griffith right now is a good playmaker, he’s been fairly good for a second year pro and first year in the NHL."

"We’ve gotta give him a little bit of time and when I need to make the change, Simon Gagne has been a guy who’s been able to move up and there could be others, too. I’m OK with the flexibility there of moving guys in and out of that position."

"Depending on the situation and who’s doing well and who’s not, I've just got to do what I got to do here and I don’t think I have anything set in stone, more than I’m ready to adapt to what happens."

Griffith has been a quick learner, taking in everything Lucic and Krejci have been telling him on the fly during games, as well as off the ice.

"I think Seth's done a pretty good job of stepping in and doing what he does," said Lucic. "And he's a guy - definitely you can see he has great hands, great vision and he's got a great shot as well, and for him as well, its just a matter of time before they start going in."

Griffith nearly had a goal in Montreal, but his bid hit the crossbar. The Bruins held possession in the offensive zone and Krejci scored half a minute later.

"I mean, he had some really great chances in Montreal and on any other night, probably two of those go in for him, but they didn't that night, so you just want to do what you can for him and work hard to create chances and when you get them, make sure to bury them."

Home Cookin'

The Bruins were the best home team in the NHL last season. As Lucic pointed out after morning skate, they had 31 wins in the confines of TD Garden.

They enter Tuesday night with a 1-2-0 record at home, after suffering a stinging 2-1 loss to Colorado in the final second their last time out on Garden ice.

"I think that last game we played here, half a second left really hurt us and put us on the negative side, but it’s up to us to redeem ourselves," said Julien. "We’ve got a tough team, tough opponent tonight [in San Jose] and a tough opponent on Thursday [in the Islanders]. Two teams with just one loss each. They’re off to a good starts."

"We've just got to make sure that we’re ready to face that kind of challenge. Bottom line is we have to keep building on what we’ve started to build on the last three [road] games."

Projected Lineup vs. San Jose 10/21

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Seth Griffith
Brad Marchand
- Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly
- Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille
- Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg
- Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski
- Adam McQuaid

Starter: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Niklas Svedberg

Healthy Scratch: Matt Fraser
Injured: Kevan Miller (dislocated right shoulder, out indefinitely)

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