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Bruins' Julien puts new faces on top two lines

by Matt Kalman /

BOSTON – Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien wasted no time inserting his club's new additions onto the lines they've been projected by many to join since the summer.

Julien had Loui Eriksson, who was acquired from the Dallas Stars in the Tyler Seguin trade, skate with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, in Seguin's old spot, in the first practice session of the first on-ice day of training camp Thursday at TD Garden.

Jarome Iginla, who was signed as a free agent to replace Nathan Horton, skated alongside center David Krejci and Milan Lucic in the second session.

"But I thought Krejci with [Lucic] and Iginla, especially later on, I think [Iginla] was kind of finding his way with that line and it got better and better," Julien said. "At first I think he was just trying to fit in and then feel his way through. And that's what you'd expect with a guy coming into that lineup with those two guys.

"Same thing with [Eriksson] and that line. I thought those guys were looking a lot more to pass to each other than they were looking accomplish a shot or a scoring chance. So those kinds of things will fall into place as the day progresses."

Other than adjusting to Eriksson shooting left-handed, as opposed to the right-shooting Seguin, Bergeron said there weren't a lot of growing pains on his trio's first day together. The new line, if it sticks, has a lot to live up to. In the 2012-13 regular season, Bergeron, Marchand and Seguin filled three of the top four spots on Boston's points list and formed the Bruins' most consistent line.

"Yeah, it felt pretty good," Bergeron said. "You can tell [Eriksson]'s a great player, and he's got some great speed and great skill. So I'm very excited to have him with us. You know, it's obviously the first practice, so we've still got some work to on the chemistry. But still I thought it was pretty good and fun to see these two guys on my sides."

If the chemistry quickly develops, Bergeron doesn't expect the results to be any different for his line than they were with Seguin riding the right side.

"I think we've always played the same type of game which was high-tempo with being good on the forecheck and causing some turnovers," he said. "So we're obviously going to I guess keep that going and I think he's going to help us doing that."

For Bergeron, getting on the same page with his new linemate might've been more of a concern than getting through his first formal on-ice practice since he battled through multiple injuries in the Stanley Cup Final last June. Earlier in the week, Bergeron said that he was still tender around his ribs. Any discomfort he felt during practice, however, was temporary.

"Yeah, it wasn't bad. ... I felt it a couple times in one or two battles, but it doesn't seem to linger after," he said. "It's just there, it stays maybe for 30 seconds or so and then goes away. So I think it's good news. I think it's just I'm going to have to go through that for a couple weeks and then it should be fine. The medical staff is not worried about it so I'm not worried about it."

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