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Stempniak, Liles ready to debut with Bruins

Veterans will add depth to lineup against Flames

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

FLAMES (26-32-4) at BRUINS (34-23-6)

TV: 7 p.m. ET; SNF, NESN, NHL.TV

BOSTON - The Boston Bruins would have had a much different look Tuesday if general manager Don Sweeney had decided to trade pending unrestricted free agent Loui Eriksson prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday.

The Bruins, however, kept Eriksson and added two veteran players in separate trades. Boston acquired forward Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils for a fourth-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round draft pick in 2017; and got defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes for a third-round draft pick in 2016, a fifth-round draft pick in 2017 and forward Anthony Camara from Providence of the American Hockey League.

Currently the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 74 points, the Bruins are trying to hang on to or improve their position. Stempniak and Liles are expected to make their debut with Boston against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday.

"I think we're always trying to get better here and he's [Sweeney] added players to our team that we can be even more competitive," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "So we should look at that as a sign of a general manager who believes in us and thinks we can get better here."

Stempniak, who had 16 goals in 63 games for the Devils, is joining the ninth team of his career, so he knows how to fit in among a new group.

"I think at times, the first time I was ever traded, I was sort of was a little hesitant," Stempniak said. "I'm not the most boisterous guy, I'm not going to command a room. But I feel like I was trying to not step on anyone's toes and sort of waded into it. It hurt me in Toronto and I think from then on I've been able to just jump in with two feet. [You] realize you have to play to your strengths as an individual and that complements the group, and you just have to have that confidence to your game."

Liles also has traveled around the League and has experience finding a niche on a new team.

"Just try to play my game for the most part and really try and just make sure I'm talking on the ice," Liles said, "because I've been traded before, I've been on teams where new guys comes in and I think that's the biggest thing, just making sure you communicate."

The Flames, who lost 5-3 at the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday and have won once in their past nine games (1-7-1), did not hold a morning skate. The Flames visit marks the return of former Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was traded to Calgary on June 26, 2015 for three draft picks.

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Josh Jooris

Joe Colborne - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland - Sam Bennett - Garnet Hathaway

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Brandon Bollig

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Deryk Engelland - Dougie Hamilton

Jyrki Jokipakka - Jakub Nakladal

Joni Ortio

Jonas Hiller

Injured: Karri Ramo (torn ACL), Ladislav Smid (upper body)

Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Tyler Wotherspoon

Suspended: Dennis Wideman


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly

Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes

Landon Ferraro - Noel Acciari - Lee Stempniak

Zdeno Chara - Kevan Miller

John-Michael Liles - Dennis Seidenberg

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: Chris Kelly (broken femur)

Scratched: Tyler Randell, Zach Trotman, Joe Morrow

Status report: Jokipakka, acquired in a trade with the Dallas Stars on Monday, and Backstrom, acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild, are expected to be with the Flames by game time. ... Acciari is expected to make his NHL debut. ... Kelly has begun skating, but there is no timetable for his return.

Who's hot: Gaudreau has an eight-game assist streak, the longest by a Flames player since Phil Housley in 1995. ... Beleskey has five goals in his past five games.

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