BOSTON -- It's finally time for the Boston Bruins to unleash their much-hyped offseason acquisitions Thursday, as the Bruins will host the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden in the season opener for both clubs.
Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla are scheduled to make their debuts with Boston and play on the lines they were projected to skate with in the summer, and played with all through training camp. Eriksson will line up with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, while Iginla will skate with David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Krejci, who recently missed time with back spasms, will be in against the Lightning.
It'll be important for the Bruins' new top two lines to forge early chemistry.
"I think we feel pretty good out there," Eriksson said after the Bruins' morning skate. "We've been having lot of practices together and we played a few [preseason] games together too. So I think everyone is excited to get going here and start playing."
Tuukka Rask will start in net for Boston, with Anders Lindback in net for the Lightning. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said it was a difficult decision between Lindback and Ben Bishop, but for opening night decided to go with the Swede.
"I thought both guys had times where they were exceptional in the preseason and there were times where they were average," Cooper said. "And we just felt that it was Anders' night [Thursday]. He last played in Florida, he played the most recent game and he's hung in there with us. I thought he had a great training camp, he's been competing and he deserves a shot."
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 (ankle), Bobby Robins (knee)
Ryan Malone - Steven Stamkos - Martin St. Louis
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Teddy Purcell
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Richard Panik
Pierre-Cedric Labrie - Nate Thompson - B.J. Crombeen
Victor Hedman - Sami Salo
Eric Brewer - Andrej Sustr
Matt Carle - Radko Gudas
Scratched: Keith Aulie, Tom Pyatt, Mark Barberio
Injured: Brian Lee (knee), Matt Taormina (upper body)