BOSTON -- Jordan Caron was the 13th forward for the Boston Bruins almost all season.
Now the first-round pick (No. 25) in the 2009 NHL Draft is probably going to play a big role at the biggest time of the year.
Caron, who skated in 35 games and had one goal and two assists, could be in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).
The Bruins haven't had injured forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly all week for practice. Paille skated for the first time since last week before the Bruins' optional skate Friday, but neither player joined the full squad. Coach Claude Julien said there was no update on either, so it's likely they'll each miss the game.
Caron and rookie Justin Florek are the next two forwards in line. Florek was called up from Providence of the American Hockey League earlier in the week. He played in four games for the Bruins this season. Caron was with the team all season.
"You look back at it, and it went pretty quick this year, but all the work off the ice and on the ice after practice and stuff like that, that's when you realize you didn't do it for nothing. So it's pretty exciting," said Caron, whose prior Stanley Cup Playoff experience was two games in 2012.
Without Kelly and Paille, the Bruins will be looking to make up for two forwards among their bottom six and two of their best penalty killers.
The Red Wings are relatively healthy in terms of the regular lineup they used the last few weeks of the regular season during their drive to earn a playoff spot. Center Henrik Zetterberg skated with the team but did not participate in line drills or special teams work.
Here are the projected lineups:
Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Johan Franzen
Tomas Jurco – Darren Helm – Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar – Riley Sheahan – Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – David Legwand
Niklas Kronwall – Brendan Smith
Kyle Quincey – Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff – Jakub Kindl
Scratched: Todd Bertuzzi, Joakim Andersson
Injured: Henrik Zetterberg (back), Jonathan Ericsson (hand), Stephen Weiss (hernia), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder), Daniel Cleary (knee)
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Justin Florek – Carl Soderberg – Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Andrej Meszaros – Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
Injured: Chris Kelly (back), Daniel Paille (head), Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed), Adam McQuaid (quad), Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL)