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Lineup Status Quo as Bruins Return to Practice Looking to Build on Saturday's Effort

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - The Bruins hit the ice for practice on Monday morning at TD Garden, following an off day on Sunday.

The group remained the same, with the exception of defenseman Joe Morrow, who was assigned to the Providence Bruins on Sunday.

Kevan Miller remains out indefinitely with a dislocated right shoulder, while Zdeno Chara is sidelined with his left knee injury for about four to six weeks.

The Bruins' defense corps has begun to adjust without the two shutdown defensemen, and in doing so, put up a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs in their first test on Saturday.

The real challenge, though, will be sustaining that effort moving forward.

"Well, that's just it. I think when look at our situation, we played well last game, but that's just one game," Head Coach Claude Julien stressed following Monday's practice. "We have to be able to sustain it, that's the challenge that we have right now and that's the challenge that we're facing and that we've got to respond to."

"We've got to continue doing that on a daily basis, whether it's in practice or in games, continue to stay on top of our game here in order to compensate for losses to not just Zdeno, but Miller's been a pretty reliable defenseman back there, so we've got to continue to play the way we did last game and try and improve still."

Boston next hosts the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at TD Garden, before heading to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Thursday.

The 4-2-0 Wild boasts forwards like Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle and Jason Pominville who like to own the front of the net. The Bruins will have to continue their strong defensive play from Toronto to keep Minnesota to the outside, and off the scoreboard.

"We played as a unit on the ice, and it showed," said Dennis Seidenberg. "When you play like that, it makes the game a whole lot simpler."

The Black and Gold got themselves back to .500, now owning a 5-5-0 record 10 games into the season.

"We want to play consistent hockey, and hopefully we learn from the past," said Seidenberg. "When Zee was here, we'd have a couple real solid games, and then get off again. So our plan is to keep going, get over .500 and just play a solid team game and hopefully win more hockey games than we have in the past few [weeks]."

Krug Enjoying the Challenge

Torey Krug isn't necessarily being tasked with extra minutes because of Chara's absence (his 20:05 in ice-time on Saturday was only his sixth highest of the season), but he's being tasked with greater assignments.

On Saturday, when the coaching staff couldn't get the tandem of Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton on the ice against the Leafs' top line with Phil Kessel, they were confident in Krug and Adam McQuaid to do the job.

"When your name's called, you just do whatever you can," said Krug.

"That's kind of the goal, to build the trust between myself and the coaching staff, and they're definitely starting to show a little bit more trust and it's a good test, I'm really enjoying it. It's a lot of fun to go out on a nightly basis and do things like that."

Fourth Line Coming Along

Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell connected for a shorthanded tally on Saturday, after combining for the game-winner against San Jose last week.

The pair of forwards, along with Simon Gagne, have formed a solid fourth line that's helped provide a balanced attack for the Bruins.

"That one game there Soupy scores the winning goal, shorthanded goal last game, so that line overall has been a good fourth line for us," Julien said. "A different look from having Thorny [Shawn Thornton] there, but certainly there's some good speed, some good skill on that line."

"And a guy [in Simon Gagne], who we all know was one of the elite players in the League a few years back when he was healthy, so right now it's matter of him getting back to trying to be as close a player to that as he was, so to me, if you have that, you have a pretty decent line there."

"I like the way that we're playing," said Paille. "Some games, there's kind of been a mix of linemates, but the way we are, some games we'll have to play with physicality, or some games we're able to make plays, so with Gags back there, it gives us a lot more options to be more offensive."

"Hopefully we can give some of our top end guys a little bit of a break and help out a little bit more than we have in the past."

Fraser Biding His Time

Through the first 10 games of the season, Matt Fraser has been a healthy scratch for six of them. For the time being, he's assumed the 13th forward role, but Julien isn't expecting that to be his mindset. It's only a matter of time before he gets back into game action.

"The decisions we've made had been based on games and what we need and who we need in what position, so that's been basically it," said Julien. "To me, it's just a matter of us making that decision at one point that we want him in our lineup, and he's got to be ready."

Practice Lineup 10/27

White Jerseys: Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Seth Griffith
Gold: Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Gray: Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Maroon: Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Simon Gagne/Matt Fraser

Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug
- Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski
- Zach Trotman

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg

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