BOSTON, MA - The Bruins held pregame skate Friday morning in preparation for Game Four tonight at TD Garden. Boston, of course, has the chance to sweep the Penguins on home ice, as they lead the series three games to none following Patrice Bergeron's winner 15:19 into the second overtime early Thursday morning.
Gregory Campbell is out for the remainder of the postseason following his gutsy shift in Game Three in which he suffered a broken leg (right fibula) after blocking a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin and continuing to kill the penalty for the next 45 seconds. The video has made its rounds, showing what has made Campbell such a warrior on this team since the day he arrived.
"You don't replace a guy like Gregory Campbell by putting another guy in there. He brings a lot. It's when you lose a guy like him, you realize the hole that he's left," said Bruins' Head Coach Claude Julien, when addressing the media pregame.
"Like every other team, you have to find ways to fill it, some of it will be by other bodies, some of it will be by other guys stepping in."
Coach has said he options for slotting someone in. This morning, during pregame line rushes, Kaspars Daugavins was skating on the left wing, with Rich Peverley shifted to center and Tyler Seguin remaining on the left wing.
Following the skate, Coach Julien confirmed that Daugavins would be in the lineup.
"We've always said we've got depth on this team. We showed it when injuries crept up on defense. Now we've got an injury up front. He's going to have to step in and do his job," said Julien, of Daugavins.
"He's a gritty player. He's strong on the puck, strong as an individual, he can shoot the puck. Got a lot of qualities."
Chris Kelly was centering the Merlot Line, with Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton at their usual wing positions. Jay Pandolfo also rotated on the left wing, but given Paille's play this postseason, and the fact that players rotate sometimes rotate into rushes after the first go-round, it was more of a routine. Carl Soderberg did not take part in rushes, though he was on the ice.
Though the Daugavins-Peverley-Seguin and Paille-Kelly-Thornton lines that were together for morning rushes, Coach Julien can move that group around fairly seamelessly.
"That's what I meant yesterday when I said I have lots of options. I can interchange guys, move them around. We'll see how things go," said Coach.
"That's what I had this morning in the morning skate. They know it can change. Not necessarily set in stone."
If Kelly slots onto the 'Merlot Line,' he's ready to fill that role.
"You want to continue for that line to be dominant and successful," said Kelly. "Whoever plays with them needs to fit in and fit in that style."
Seguin, meanwhile, knows whoever will join his line will know the role as well.
"I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen for tonight's game, but I think Peverley's got a ton of speed and he's a good centerman, a player that's pretty easy to play with. And whoever is on the left wing, we're going to be going tonight."
"I think we've been playing our role well as a third line in this series and the end of last, so whoever is going to step in, we're going to be comfortable with."
So, what has that role been?
"Be strong in our own zone, get momentum, get chances. All of us on our line like to score goals and that's what we like to be doing. But I think also in playoffs, sometimes, you have to step into shoes that you're not used to filling. I think you have to go out there - and if it's just making an extra hit, not just playing in your zone, creating chances for the next line to go out there and maybe score a goal. I think it starts from the line before as well, so we're taking a lot of pride in it right now."
It's Just One Game
It may have been all business on the ice today for the Bruins, but the room seemed loose and ready, a calm, continued determination, while not allowing themselves to be any sort of comfortable.
"We've learned from our situations that have gone wrong," said Brad Marchand. Of course, that would be letting Toronto come back in the first round, or even giving the Rangers hope in the second with their mistake-prone Game Four loss.
As such, the Bruins have been experts at taking it one game at a time since, and the result has been four straight wins.
So for tonight, the mindset remains the same as for Game One through Three: focus on themselves, and play better than the game before.
"I think we know how we need to play. It's about bringing it tonight," said Coach Julien. "This is about one game. It's nothing more than about one game, what we need to do here. So we try and minimize all the hoopla around everything and keep it to the one game, how we need to play."
"Again, I mentioned yesterday that we didn't play our best game last game. They played better. So we need to be a better team tonight."
Projected Boston Lineup
Stay tuned to BostonBruins.com, the Bruins mobile app and updates on Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS for the latest news, videos and coverage heading into Game Four...