BOSTON, MA - In preparation for Game 5 Friday night, the Bruins held morning skate at TD Garden, after the majority of B's stayed off the ice Thursday following the 4-3 OT win in Toronto the night before. It's a do-or-die situation for Toronto, on the brink of elimination, but the Bruins are approaching the game with that same desperate mindset.
"You don't want to give a team any life. They battle so hard every night. I think we pretty much feel that way every game," said Brad Marchand following the pregame skate. "So far, they've given us everything. They're a great team and we just have to make sure that we don't let up at all and we have our best game tonight."
All Bruins hit the ice during the skate except for defenseman Wade Redden. There was one addition on the ice, with blueliner Matt Bartkowski getting called up by Boston Thursday evening. Bartkowski recently helped the Providence Bruins overcome an 0-2 deficit in the first round of the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs to close out the series against the Hershey Bears.
Coach Julien told media following the pregame skate that Redden will not play tonight and is out "day-to-day."
"We’ve got two [options]. Obviously, Dougie [Hamilton] and Bart [Matt Bartkowski]," said Coach Julien, on his options for the back end in Redden's place. "One’s a right shot [Hamilton] and one’s a left shot [Bartkowski] and we have to decide what we want to do with our pairings here. Once we decide that, we’ll know who to put in. They’ve both been kind of told that, ‘We’ll let you know.’ It’s one of those two."
Bartkowski, the left shot, was paired with right-shot Adam McQuaid during pregame skate, with Chara-Seidenberg and Ference-Boychuk in tact.
"It’s good that he’s been playing. That’s why we sent him down there," Coach added, on Bartkowski's playing time being a benefit if the call-up is inserted into the lineup.
"At one point, we knew what we were going to start with in the playoffs, so because we had the ability to send him down we wanted him playing for that reason, so that if we needed him, he wouldn’t be sitting for a long time. That’s exactly what happened right now, we’ve got a chance to bring him in."
"So now we’ve got to make a decision of right or left shot."
Aside from Redden, all banged-up Bruins appear good to go tonight, with the lineup up front remaining the same during morning skate as it was in Games 2-4.
Johnny Boychuk put on a beastly display in Game 4, continuing out his shift in front of Tuukka Rask, essentially on one leg, after blocking a hard shot from Leafs' forward Leo Komarov. He did not speak to media Friday morning, but told 98.5 The Sports Hub during his weekly call-in prior to morning skate, that he expected to play tonight.
Milan Lucic took a puck to the face in Game 4 but aside from a shiner and stitches above his right eye, he was smiling and "looking forward to tonight." Nathan Horton told media during Thursday's availability that he was also feeling fine, after taking the hit from Dion Phaneuf that led to David Krejci's OT-winner.
Chris Kelly was also wearing a cut on Friday from being high-sticked by Nazem Kadri.
"It's a cut. That's all it is. It feels fine," said Kelly in the locker room pregame.
"If you look around, lots of guys have scratches and cuts on their face. That's all part of the game."
"I can only speak for us right now, we’re ready for this game. There’s no excuses. We know they’re going to come out and give their best, we have to do the same thing from our end of it," said Coach Julien. "There’s no reason in the world why we should take a different approach than to go out and leave it all out there."Projected Boston Lineup
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid
On the Leafs' side, they are now without defenseman Mark Fraser, after taking the shot to the face in Game 4, and have been without blueliner Mike Kostka since he broke his finger blocking a shot in Game 1. The sixth position is expected to be filled by John-Michael Liles, though the Leafs also called up Jesse Blacker from their AHL affiliate Marlies (tidbit: Blacker, though not expected to play, is a good friend of Tyler Seguin's).
Stay tuned to BostonBruins.com and on Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS for more from the locker room and lineup updates heading into Game 5...