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Pregame Skate: Rask Expected to Start

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bruins all took to the ice this morning at the Verizon Center before facing off against the Capitals in the teams’ first meeting of the season, and their first since Boston fell to Washington in last year’s grueling seven-game series in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals.

The first set of line rushes reflected the B’s lineup vs the Canadiens.

MacDermid rotated in for rushes with the fourth line and Bourque with the third. All defensive pairings remained the same, with Johnson the extra D (Chara-Boychuk, Seidenberg-Hamilton, Ference-McQuaid).

Tuukka Rask was first off at morning skate, so it can be expected that he’ll start in goal opposite Braden Holtby tonight.

Though this is the teams’ first meeting since the playoff series, don’t expect much carryover - if any - from that battle.

“It’s been so long now, that I haven’t even thought about it until now,” said Dan Paille following morning skate. “I think most of the guys realize what happened last year and are over it, have been waiting for this opportunity to start the season again.”

“I think if there’s motivation there, [it’s] because of who’s on that team, and how good they can be. I think that’s all we think about at this point.”

The B’s are also ready to close the book on Sunday’s loss to Montreal.

“You’re right, we turn the page,” Coach Julien affirmed to media, on switching gears to focus on the Caps.

Match-Up: Boston (14-3-2) at Washington (8-11-1)

Washington started the season 2-8-1, but has now won six of their last nine games, including a 3-0 shutout of Winnipeg on Saturday. While the Caps rise, the Bruins will look to bounce back, after seeing their six-game win streak snapped by the Habs.

“We are very much aware of the team they have, how much skill they have and the individuals that are at the top of the league, as far as the skill level,” said Captain Zdeno Chara post-skate.

“We have to be aware of them. We know if we don’t play our way it’s not going to be a good game. We just have to bring our game.”

Coach Julien is aware of their recent climb, despite the slower start.

"I think it’s just probably that they had a new coach and he’s brought some new ideas to the team, that usually takes a while," said Coach. "We all know how this schedule’s been, it hasn’t been easy for coaches to implement new things when you’re playing every second day. So, it’s been a matter of time."

"Obviously, they’re a much better team now than they were at the beginning of the year. They seem to be in sync, solidified a lot of their game."

With last season far into the past, Coach is hoping his Black & Gold can have a much better result than their most recent game against Washington - though it was nearly a year ago.

"It’s been a long time – it feels like a long time, believe it or not. But, nonetheless, there’s something there for both teams. It’s how we ended our season last year, against them. Certainly would like to have a better outing."

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