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Seguin ready for bigger role, if needed, for Bruins

by Mike G. Morreale /

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic said he believes Tyler Seguin is on the verge of breaking out of his goal-scoring slump.

If it happens to occur while skating beside him on the team's top line with red-hot center David Krejci, so be it.

Tyler Seguin
Center - BOS
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 5
SOG: 62 | +/-: -2
"I think he's on the verge," Lucic said of Seguin. "Especially after all the chances he had last game (when Nathan Horton sustained an injury in the first overtime). Hopefully, he can build off that and break through in Game 2 [on Saturday]."

Seguin and Horton were splitting line rushes with the top unit Friday during Boston's practice at United Center in preparation for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Based on the line combinations, if Horton is out, Seguin will stay on the top line, with Carl Soderberg getting his spot on the third line.

Bruins coach Claude Julien ruled Horton as day-to-day, however, after he sustained an undisclosed injury Wednesday with seven minutes remaining in the first overtime of an eventual 4-3 triple-OT loss.

Seguin earned 29:18 of ice time and generated eight shots, delivering three hits and one steal in Game 1. He had an assist on Patrice Bergeron's third-period goal that gave the Bruins a 3-1 lead. Many of Seguin's teammates said he was as energetic and effective as any other time throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Julien was asked if the trio of Lucic-Krejci-Seguin could rekindle some of that past magic it produced when the coach had them together. He wanted none of it.

"We're talking here like Horton is not in," Julien told the media. "You'll see if they play [Saturday]. I'm not going there because it's presuming that Horton is not in. If he's not in, [Saturday] morning, I'll be more than happy to answer your questions."

Seguin said he will try to pick up where he left off Wednesday.

"I'll be ready with whoever I'm playing with," Seguin said. "I'm not sure who it will be with, but I just want to be able to step up where needed and contribute.

"Krejci is pretty hot right now, and we had good chemistry when we were together. Obviously I'd want to try and establish chemistry early, and it'll be different than the chemistry I had with [Brad] Marchand and [Patrice] Bergeron because I've played with them off and on for two years. I would look forward to it though if [Horton] couldn't go."

Seguin has one goal and five points in 17 postseason games. He's played a bottom-six role and chipped in where needed, but will enter Game 2 of this best-of-7 series against the Blackhawks with a minus-2 rating. He was a plus-23 in 48 games during the regular season.

The 6-foot-1, 182-pound right-handed shot scored his playoff goal May 23 in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Lucic said he feels Horton and Seguin each bring something different to the line. Julien had Seguin with Krejci and Lucic in March 2012, and Krejci responded to the change with his second career hat trick.

"They're both great players in their own way, and I think Nathan is more of physical player, but [Seguin] is a guy that uses his speed to his advantage," Lucic said. "They are special in their own ways."

The Blackhawks saw up close in Game 1 how Seguin changes the dynamic. After playing 12:22 in regulation, he logged 16:56 in the overtimes.

"Seguin is a guy who has a lot of skill," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's one of their faster players, so he just brings a little bit different look … but it's still a pretty solid line."

With Seguin on the top line, Soderberg centered Daniel Paille and Rich Peverley on Boston's third line, with Chris Kelly centering Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton on the fourth line. Bergeron was in his usual spot between Marchand and Jaromir Jagr.

Soderberg played six regular-season games and had two assists and a minus-2 rating. The 27-year-old would be making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut.

"Soderberg is more of a playmaker, more of a natural centerman than a winger, but can play both," Julien said. "He's got good size (6-foot-3, 198 pounds). He's got good skills."


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