WILMINGTON, Mass. — Since inserting rookie Jordan Caron into the lineup in the second game of the season in Prague, Bruins coach Claude Julien has done very little to tweak his forward lines this year.
Nor has there been much cause for excessive changes, as the Bruins have posted an impressive 6-2-0 record and gotten production out of all four of their lines.
But Julien did opt to make one change midway through Saturday's game in Ottawa, moving Mark Recchi back to Patrice Bergeron's line opposite Caron, while Blake Wheeler moved to a line with Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder.
The changes helped Boston break out for four goals against Ottawa after scoring just two in each of the previous two games. Caron scored his third of the year on a breakaway set up by Bergeron to cap the scoring in Saturday's 4-0 win.
On Monday, Julien kept the new combinations together in practice at Ristuccia Arena, with spare forward Daniel Paille also donning a gray sweater and subbing into the drills with Seguin's line.
"I wouldn't say it was out of not being happy with what we saw," said Julien. "It was more of a little tweak that I felt if I made that change it might give both of those lines a little bit of a boost or little bit of a change and might give it a spark. That's the only reason I did it. I don't think it was aimed at any one individual more than it was aimed at trying to give both of those lines a little bit of a spark, which I thought could help our team be better."
The move reunited Wheeler and Ryder, who had success together on a line with David Krejci two years ago, while also putting Caron back on the right side where he played in junior hockey and Wheeler on the left where he spent most of his first two seasons in Boston.
Seguin and Recchi won't be kept apart completely either, as they still remained on the same power-play unit, with Recchi finding Seguin behind the defense for Boston's second goal against Ottawa.
The top unit of Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic remained intact on Monday, as did the fourth line, which welcomed Brian McGrattan back from his conditioning stint in Providence as he rejoined Greg Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Brad Marchand in a maroon jersey.