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Banged-up Bruins ready to debut Miller on defense

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Much like in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins' depth on defense is about to be tested.

Already Adam McQuaid has missed five games with a lower-body injury and he's expected to miss a sixth against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Now Dennis Seidenberg has joined McQuaid among the injured. Seidenberg skated one shift against the New York Rangers on Tuesday and did not return because of a lower-body injury.

Matt Bartkowski had been filling in for McQuaid. Now 26-year-old Kevan Miller is scheduled to make his NHL debut against the Blues. Miller made a strong push for an NHL job during training camp, and since then the Bruins have been grooming him for this type of opportunity with Providence of the American Hockey League.

"It's my third year [of pro hockey] and you've just got to believe in the process," Miller said after the morning skate. "A lot of guys have been in the same situation. So it's a good feeling."

The Bruins advanced to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final despite the absence of Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden for stretches during the playoffs.

The Blues finish their three-game road trip against the Bruins after a loss to the Washington Capitals and a win against the Buffalo Sabres.

"I just think any time we get the information we need on our own team is valuable," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I think we need to get more information on what we're about and Boston's one of probably five or six teams in the [NHL] that plays right through you. So it'll be a good test for us; we'll see where we're at. And whatever happens we'll have a good evaluation moving back when we get those teams from the West, the big guns are coming down now with Dallas and [Minnesota] and back in Colorado."

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson

Carl Soderberg - Chris Kelly - Reilly Smith

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Matt Bartkowski - Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jordan Caron

Injured: Dennis Seidenberg (lower body), Adam McQuaid (lower body)


Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Jaden Schwartz - Vladimir Sobotka - Vladimir Tarasenko

Brenden Morrow - Derek Roy - Chris Stewart

Magnus Paajarvi - Maxim Lapierre - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ian Cole - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Adam Cracknell, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Jordan Leopold (hand), Patrik Berglund (upper body)

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