OTTAWA - David Krejci and Dominic Moore were back on the ice Wednesday morning in Ottawa for the Bruins' pregame skate at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that both players are expected to suit up in Game 1.
"Yes they'll be out there tonight," said Cassidy. "And unless something happens between now and this afternoon, as we said before, there was some maintenance for those two players, and we expect them to play."
Krejci will be centering Drew Stafford and David Pastrnak, while Moore will center a line with Tim Schaller and Riley Nash on his wings.
On the back end, Charlie McAvoy is expected to make his NHL debut. He'll start the game paired with Kevan Miller.
"Every kid goes through it, their first game," said Cassidy. "But he's the type of kid who's got some of that built-in composure, and hopefully that comes through for him tonight."
"But at the end of the day, once the puck drops, it's hockey," said Cassidy. "That's what we'll tell him: you've got to play to your strengths and understand that you'll be playing against men, so they'll be much harder on the puck, but he's has the luxury of playing some games down in Providence. It's not the National Hockey League, but they're older players, it's older than college, so he has that under his belt."
"And then Charlie's a special talent. He's a guy that has rose up to those big moments, so he's probably less bothered by the spotlight than others, so again, we'll find out soon enough."
Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo did not travel with the team to Ottawa. They had been ruled out for Game 1 earlier this week.
"As you know, they're out tonight. Classified as day-to-day and they're not here now," said Cassidy. "I think some of that has to do with the games as well, We do have that extra day in between, so if they were to become available we could get them out here."
The Bruins are ready to go for Game 1, no matter who is suiting up in the lineup.
"We're ready. We lost a few players to injury, so that's not ideal, but every team deals with that. We feel confident, the group's confident," said Cassidy. "And again, it's Game 1, so until the puck drops and you start the process of feeling it out, finding out matchups, all of that stuff, that's what as a coach you're thinking ahead in every situation and what's going to play out, and the last two days we've prepared our team for Ottawa - stick to our strengths, but understand our tendencies and hopefully it's a good game plan and the guys buy into it."
"We've got good experience in the locker room, so for me, I've very fortunate guys like Zee and Bergy, they're Stanley Cup Champions, so they've been through this, so they should set the tempo for our group," said Cassidy.
Captain Zdeno Chara is leading the way, but expects every player to make sure he's prepared.
"I think everyone has to worry, first of all, about their own game," said Chara. "For sure, there are going to be moments where the experience will be handy. But, I think that the one way to get experience is to play the playoff games."
"You can be talking about it as much as you want. There are teams that have more players that have been in those playoff situations and a lot of teams don't have as many. But, you've just got to go out there and play."
Pregame Skate Lines and Defense Pairings April 12 - Game 1
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Backes
Drew Stafford - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Frank Vatrano
Tim Schaller - Dominic Moore - Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara - Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller - Charlie McAvoy
John-Michael Liles - Colin Miller
Starting Goaltender: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Anton Khudobin
Projected Scratches: Jimmy Hayes, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Joe Morrow, Noel Acciari (day-to-day upper body injury, ruled out for Game 1)
Injuries: Torey Krug (lower body), Brandon Carlo (upper body) - neither Krug nor Carlo traveled with the team to Ottawa.