While the Bruins' top line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic will likely remain unchanged for the start of their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, there will still be a major roster shakeup in the wake of Patrice Bergeron's concussion.
Chris Kelly, who has come on strong in the postseason with four goals and seven points, took over for Bergeron as the second-line center at practice on Monday.
Kelly's seven playoff points through 11 games this postseason are already more than he had in 24 regular-season games with the Bruins, after coming over from Ottawa via trade.
Kelly moves up from the third line, where he had been centering Michael Ryder and Rich Peverley. He'll now play alongside rookie Brad Marchand and 43-year-old Mark Recchi.
Marchand has been a spark plug for Boston, particularly in the playoffs. His five goals have him tied with Horton and David Krejci for the most on the team this postseason. He's provided energy and physicality, while also showing a willingness to battle for pucks in the corner.
Recchi has 58 goals and 140 total points in 175 career playoff games. A two-time Stanley Cup champion, he's seen as one of Boston's leaders. His ability to generate traffic in front of the net is vital to the Bruins' offensive success, and he has seven points this postseason.
Ryder endured another tough regular season, with only 41 points in 79 games. But his two goals in Game 4 versus the Canadiens, including the game-winner in overtime, made a lot of people forget those woes. Ryder still boasts one of the team's most accurate shots, and when he scores, it often comes in bunches.
Peverley has been a difference maker for the Bruins since coming over from the Atlanta Thrashers at the trade deadline. He has six points in the playoffs, and his speed is an asset to the Bruins' third-line attack. He will likely remain on the third line and shift to center, where he will try to become a playmaker in-between Ryder and rookie Tyler Seguin, who will see his first playoff action.
Which second- or third-line forward do you think needs to step up most for the Bruins in the absence of Patrice Bergeron? Share your thoughts below.
Sunday, May 8th: Which offensive player should the Bruins be most concerned about in their upcoming series with the Lightning?
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