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Bruins Battle Winnipeg Without Peverley

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins – The Boston Bruins will try to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in over a month (1/12 & 1/14) when they take on the Winnipeg Jets tonight, but they’ll be doing it without forward Rich Peverley.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that Peverley will be out 4-6 weeks with a third degree MCL sprain in his right knee – a result of a hit from defender Hal Gill (who was traded to Nashville today) in Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

“That’s unfortunate,” Head Coach Claude Julien said. “That’s a guy who logs a lot of minutes during the game. With [Nathan] Horton out already – [those are] two guys that play a lot of minutes for us.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us, but again that’s part of the game. Throughout a season you get injuries and your team has to fight through those types of situation.”

There remains no timetable for Horton, who has been out since he suffered a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 22.

“He’s at the stage he was earlier on and we have to be patient with that,” Julien said. “I respect the seriousness of it all and you have to give the guy the best opportunity possible to get himself better.”

Without Peverley in the lineup, forward Josh Hennessy will make his debut as a Boston Bruin and will center Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton, based on this morning’s skate.

David Krejci will center Milan Lucic and Benoit Pouliot, while Chris Kelly will center Daniel Paille and Jordan Caron. Patrice Bergeron’s line, which has been the most consistent all season, remains the same.

The depth that has helped the Bruins drop six-goal victories on opponents has eluded them over the last month, and Bergeron said that’s something they need to re-establish now more than ever.

“It’s about everyone pulling our loads and trying to make a difference out there,” Bergeron said. “Obviously, it’s one of those times where you’re missing some key players – we all need to step up.

“It’s not about one guy – it’s about the whole team. We have that depth and it’s been helping all year. We talk about it, now it’s time to use it.”

The Bruins (35-18-2) have played the Jets three times this season, winning two at TD Garden, while losing 2-1 in Winnipeg.

Bergeron said that when the Black & Gold take the ice at the MTS Centre tonight, he expects another hard contest.

“It’s a loud building, they play well at home and we’re expecting that,” he said. “We’re in the last stretch here, we need to make sure we build some ground and we’re expecting a tough game again tonight.”

Winnipeg (27-26-6) has lost two out of their last three games, but that doesn’t matter to Julien.

Right now, the focus is all on the Bruins.

“It’s more what I expect about my team,” Julien said. “To be honest with you, I haven’t spent a lot of time looking at them. I haven’t spent a lot of time giving our guys more than what we need to do.

“We’re at that stage right now where we’re really working hard to bring our game back to where it should be. Everything that’s being done in that room right now is about us.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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