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Caron could play key role as Bruins battle injuries

by Matt Kalman

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 AbdelkaderPavel DatsyukJohan Franzen

Tomas JurcoDarren HelmDaniel Alfredsson

Tomas TatarRiley SheahanGustav Nyquist

Drew MillerLuke GlendeningDavid Legwand

Niklas KronwallBrendan Smith

Kyle QuinceyDanny DeKeyser

Brian LashoffJakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Todd Bertuzzi, Joakim Andersson

Injured: Henrik Zetterberg (back), Jonathan Ericsson (hand), Stephen Weiss (hernia), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder), Daniel Cleary (knee)


Milan LucicDavid KrejciJarome Iginla

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronReilly Smith

Justin FlorekCarl SoderbergLoui Eriksson

Jordan CaronGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Andrej MeszarosJohnny Boychuk

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Injured: Chris Kelly (back), Daniel Paille (head), Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed), Adam McQuaid (quad), Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL)

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