VANCOUVER — The Canucks took a 1-0 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, but they will still likely have some new faces in their lineup for Game 2 on Saturday.
Forward Manny Malhotra could return for the first time since suffering a serious eye injury on March 16, while defenseman Dan Hamhuis is expected to be out after suffering an undisclosed injury during Game 1.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault remained tight-lipped about the status of both players, stating only that both would be "game-time decisions." Vigneault has remained steadfast throughout the postseason in offering as little information as possible when it comes to his club's injuries.
"I believe at the end of the day, at this time of the year when there's a lot at stake, you don't want the opposition to know if a certain player has this or that, so that, let's just put it this way, so they don't try to exploit something," Vigneault said. "It's as simple as that. I mean, during the season we share everything, as open as we can, but we don't play the same team usually two nights in a row. So that's probably why most teams do it this way."
If Malhotra plays, Alexandre Bolduc will likely come out of the lineup, with Malhotra centering Jeff Tambellini and Victor Oreskovich on the fourth line.
On defense, the Canucks can chose between former Bruin Andrew Alberts, Keith Ballard and Christopher Tanev. Alberts played with Christian Ehrhoff in practice on Friday, while Ballard and Tanev skated together as the extra pairing.
The Bruins don't have any injury issues and are likely to stick with the same lineup, though Claude Julien could insert Shawn Thornton after how physical Game 1 was. Thornton would bring an emotional boost and some added leadership, plus the experience of having played in a Cup Final before when he won a championship with Anaheim in 2007.
But the problem is who would come out of the lineup. The only real option would be Tyler Seguin, who had no points in six games after putting up six points in his first two games at the start of the Tampa series. Julien, though, may not want to take Seguin's speed out of the lineup against a very quick Canucks squad.
"Every game is about making decisions here," Julien said. "Shawn for us right now is a guy that hasn't been in the dressing room between the first and second, and second and third. He's in the warm-up. He's getting dressed with the players. He's still doing his job. Whenever he hasn't been playing, he's still been a big asset to our hockey club. He's won a Stanley Cup. When he did win it, he had to miss some games as well.
"We're in a position where we have to make decisions based on our needs and what has to happen," Julien added. "We've at points envisioned a guy like Tyler, the way he played when Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] came back, we had to keep him in the lineup. As games go on, we make decisions. So what I'm saying is today might be different than tomorrow and so on, so forth."
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder- Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell- Rich Peverley
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Shawn Thornton, Shane Hnidy, Steven Kampfer, Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron, Jamie Arniel, Trent Whitfield, Anton Khudobin
Projected Canucks lines
Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Alex Burrows
Christopher Higgins-Ryan Kesler-Mason Raymond
Raffi Torres-Maxim Lapierre-Jannik Hansen
Jeff Tambellini-Manny Malhotra-Victor Oreskovich
Sami Salo-Alexander Edler
Aaron Rome-Kevin Bieksa
Andrew Alberts-Christian Ehrhoff
Scratches: Dan Hamhuis, Alexandre Bolduc, Keith Ballard, Christopher Tanev, Tanner Glass, Aaron Volpatti, Cory Hodgson, Sergei Shirokov, Eddie Lack