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Bruins Seek Season's 1st Win Against 'Canes

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – Head Coach Claude Julien is confident in his team’s ability to realistically evaluate their performance after a game – a trait he said comes from the strong veteran presence in the locker room.

“I think our guys are good at realizing when they play well, and if we play well and we don’t win, they’re certainly not going to criticize themselves,” Julien said.

“But if we win and we don’t play well, they’re going to say, ‘You know we got a bit lucky tonight.’ They’re very realistic in assessing their games and that’s the leadership we have in our dressing room and that comes from different players.”

The team’s diligent evaluations will be put to the test tonight when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes, who have dealt the Black & Gold three losses already this season.

“It’s more of less our game, the way we play against them,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. “It’s been not as sharp, not focused enough and they’re doing a good job getting on the forecheck and interrupting our flow and just being nasty and working hard. We just have to do a better job [staying in position] and moving the puck.”

Julien said that the defense hasn’t been up to par lately, but he anticipates that the return of Andrew Ference will help them refocus and get back on track.

“I think he’s had a great year so getting him back in our lineup will give us that experienced guy we can lean on a little bit more and maybe take some of the ice away from the guys getting heavy minutes,” Julien said.

But while the Bruins prepared to welcome Ference back to the lineup, it appeared as if they might’ve been without Adam McQuaid tonight, who skated gingerly off the ice after “hitting a rut” in the third period against Ottawa and missed practice.

However, after this morning’s skate, Julien said McQuaid should be ready to skate, although he added that he’d still leave it as a game time decision.

“He looked good this morning and we’ll anticipate that he’s going to play,” Julien said.

While the full defensive troop should be on hand tonight, the B’s will skate without forward Nathan Horton, who’s recovering from concussion symptoms.

But Julien said he has no problem with forward Rich Peverley skating alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

“He’s a guy that can make plays and he’s got the speed to play with that line so I don’t mind him here,” Julien said of Peverley, who had an assist on Lucic’s goal Tuesday. “He’s a great player to put in that spot when Nathan’s not there.”

But regardless of the lineup on the ice, if the effort isn’t there the Bruins will have a hard time stopping Carolina, who’s looking to sweep the season series for the first time in team history.

“We’d like to redeem ourselves a bit – we’ve had a hard time against Carolina this year,” McQuaid said. “There are a lot of areas that we can sharpen up that we’ve been a little sub-par in.

"Again, it’s about us going back to playing the way we need to.”

--- Anthony Gulizia
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