BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins searched for most of the season and the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs for third-line production and rarely got it.
This season, they're plan was to rectify that. Although an injury to Carl Soderberg changed the formation of the Bruins' third line prior to the Thursday's season opener, Jordan Caron joined center Chris Kelly and right wing Reilly Smith to form a group that was strong at both ends of the rink in the 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With Soderberg still out with an ankle injury, that trio figures to be together again against the Detroit Red Wings Saturday at TD Garden.
"They've got to be able to generate some stuff, some scoring opportunities, which is what we talked about last year about trying to find with our third line," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team's morning skate. "So right now, they've given us that. I thought last game they spent some time in the offensive zone. I thought they did a great job forechecking and creating some things."
At one point in the second period, Caron thought he had scored a goal. But it was waived off because of a quick whistle.
The Bruins expect to put the same lineup on the ice against Detroit they had against the Lightning. Detroit, which won Friday night in overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes, might make a lineup change up front, according to coach Mike Babcock. Tomas Tatar might go in, but Babcock said all 12 of his forwards from Friday night, including Mikael Samuelsson (two shifts in the third period Friday), are available.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron – Chris Kelly – Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Scratched: Matt Bartkowski
Injured: Carl Soderberg (leg), Bobby Robins (knee)
Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Justin Abdelkader
Johan Franzen – Stephen Weiss – Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Cleary – Joakim Andersson – Todd Bertuzzi
Drew Miller – Cory Emmerton – Mikael Samuelsson
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyser – Jakub Kindl
Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey
Scratched: Tomas Tatar, Brian Lashoff
Injured: Jordin Tootoo (shoulder), Patrick Eaves (knee), Darren Helm (back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin)