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Bruins' Krejci back in vs. Jets, Bergeron likely to rest

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- The Boston Bruins can move a step closer to their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1989-90 season when they meet the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday at MTS Centre.

The Bruins have 114 points and lead the Anaheim Ducks by two. The Bruins, who begin a stretch of three games in four days, have a game in hand on the Ducks. With the Eastern Conference top seed clinched, the Bruins' next goal is to earn home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Center David Krejci will return to the lineup after having Tuesday off against the Minnesota Wild.

"I'm excited to play," Krejci said after the morning skate. "It was nice to get a little time off, but at the same time it's not fun to watch the game from the stands, the dressing room or [television]. I'm glad I'm back and looking forward to it."

With Krejci back, the Bruins are likely to rest center Patrice Bergeron, who has dressed for all 79 games this season. Center Chris Kelly (back) also is expected to be a scratch.

Right wing Jarome Iginla (lower body) has missed the past two games but skated Thursday and is a possibility to play. Defenseman Kevan Miller, who has missed the past two games with an injury, may play after participating in the morning skate.

The Bruins recalled center Ryan Spooner from the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, and he is expected to dress against Winnipeg.

The Jets wrap up their home schedule before a road game against the Calgary Flames on Friday. This season is the seventh in a row that the Winnipeg franchise has failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Jets coach Paul Maurice put the Jets through a 90-minute practice Wednesday that included nearly an hour of skating drills. The Jets had another fast-paced session Thursday at MTS Centre in preparation for the Bruins.

The Jets will face Boston with a lineup missing nine regulars. Maurice confirmed captain Andrew Ladd (elbow) will miss the final two games of the regular season. To replace Ladd, the Jets recalled center Patrice Cormier from the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

"How many people can now fight through what we went through?" Maurice said after the morning skate Thursday. "[Wednesday] was not easy for any of them. There was nothing easy about [Wednesday], and it's not getting any easier [Thursday against Boston]. There are going to be men out there that can push themselves through that. These guys have to get through two hard nights."

Goaltender Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson will make his second NHL start and face the team that selected him in the third round of the 2008 NHL Draft.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Loui Eriksson

Brad Marchand - Ryan Spooner - Reilly Smith

Daniel Paille - Carl Soderberg - Jarome Iginla

Jordan Caron - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Matt Bartkowski - Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug - Andrej Meszaros

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Kevan Miller, Corey Potter

Injured: Jarome Iginla (lower body), Chris Kelly (back), Adam McQuaid (quad), Dennis Seidenberg (knee)


Evander Kane - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Eric Tangradi - Olli Jokinen - Blake Wheeler

Eric O'Dell - Jim Slater - Matt Halischuk

Carl Klingberg - Patrice Cormier - Anthony Peluso

Tobias Enstrom - Paul Postma

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Adam Pardy - Zach Redmond

Michael Hutchinson

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Ben Chiarot

Injured: Zach Bogosian (upper body), Dustin Byfuglien (muscle tear), Grant Clitsome (back), Keaton Ellerby (lower body), Andrew Ladd (elbow), Al Montoya (undisclosed), Mark Scheifele (knee), Chris Thorburn (talus), James Wright (ankle)

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