BOSTON – The Bruins return to Garden ice Tuesday night after a successful West Coast swing, but will have to face a Lightning team that rolled to a 6-1 win against the Bruins two weeks ago in Tampa.
The Bruins will try to shake off the effects of a cross-country flight, while the Lightning are playing the back end of back-to-back games after a 5-3 win in Philadelphia on Monday.
“We’re going to be needing our legs tonight and we know that’s going to be a challenge in itself.” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. “You come back from a trip in California and it’s always a challenge. But if I gauged myself on this morning’s skate, we seemed to be in pretty good shape right now.”
The Bruins got some good news on the injury front with the return of Rich Peverley on Sunday. The versatile forward had missed 19 games with a knee injury, but was pleased with how his leg held up while playing 16:44 against the Ducks and feels his timing will come back quickly.
“I think as the game went on I felt more and more comfortable,” Peverley said. “I’m hoping tonight is that case. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long.”
With Peverley’s return, Daniel Paille was the odd man out, joining defensemen Joe Corvo and Mike Mottau as the club’s healthy scratches. Julien will likely stick with the same lines on Tuesday, leaving that trio plus newcomer Torey Krug, a free-agent defenseman out of Michigan State signed on Sunday, as scratches against the Lightning.
“That’s what we’re leaning on right now and again, we’re probably going to put a couple extra guys [out for warm-ups], but I haven’t made my final decision,” Julien said. “But more than likely, we’re looking at the same lineup.”
Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, indicating he will likely be back in net after Marty Turco earned the win Sunday in Anaheim.
Dwayne Roloson will get the call for the Lightning despite playing Monday in Philadelphia. The 42-year-old was solid against the Flyers (35 saves) and will appear in his sixth straight game with backup Mathieu Garon sidelined with a groin injury.
The Lightning expect to get defenseman Victor Hedman back after he missed Monday’s game with an illness, but Vincent Lecavalier (hand) and Nate Thompson (upper body) are expected to remain out. With their injuries up front, the Lightning have gone with seven defensemen and just 11 forwards in recent games, and will likely stick with that alignment in this contest.
Justin St. Pierre and Kelly Sutherland will be the referees, with Tim Nowak and Scott Driscoll working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Jordan Caron-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Joe Corvo, Mike Mottau, Daniel Paille, Torey Krug, Nathan Horton (concussion), Tuukka Rask (groin)
Projected Lightning lines
Marty St. Louis-Steven Stamkos-Teddy Purcell
Ryan Malone-Tom Pyatt-Brett Connolly
JT Wyman-Trevor Smith-Tim Wallace
Pierre-Cedric Labrie-Brandon Segal
Victor Hedman-Eric Brewer
Brett Clark-Brian Lee
Mike Commodore-Brendan Mikkelson
Scratches: Bruno Gervais, Vincent Lecavalier (hand), Nate Thompson (upper body), Adam Hall (upper body), Ryan Shannon (shoulder), Mathieu Garon (groin), Marc-Andre Bergeron (back), Matthias Ohlund (knees)