BOSTON — All Bruins players were present and accounted for as the team took the ice for practice Monday at TD Garden.
The line combinations during the hour-long session remained largely unchanged from Saturday’s 5-3 win over the New York Islanders, with Ryan Spooner skating on the fourth line with Max Talbot, Joonas Kemppainen and Tyler Randell, and Zac Rinaldo donning a gray third-line sweater.
Joining Rinaldo on the third unit were Chris Kelly, Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey, the latter of whom has missed the last two games as he recovers from an upper body injury.
“I felt pretty good,” Beleskey said after practice. “I felt the best I’ve felt yet, so that’s a good sign.”
Head coach Claude Julien did not confirm, however, whether Beleskey would be active for Tuesday’s matchup with the Arizona Coyotes.
“Right now he’s practicing,” Julien said. “So, any time a guy starts to practice, he does become a possibility. I haven’t talked to the trainers as far as (whether he’ll play). He was a possibility last game, too, and it didn’t happen. We’ll probably make that decision (Tuesday).”
Julien’s in-game decision Saturday to bump Spooner to the fourth line paid off, as Spooner and Kemppainen each finished with a goal and an assist in Boston’s come-from-behind win in Brooklyn. One would assume he’d keep that new-look trio (Spooner, Kemppainen and Randell) intact, but the coach warned against reading too much into practice groupings.
“The competition is always a good thing,” Julien said, “but what you see today might be different than what you see tomorrow. That’s all I can say about it. We’re just moving bodies around for no other reason than to make things work.”
The Bruins have earned at least a point in each of their last four games. They’ll look to extend that streak when the Coyotes visit Causeway Street.
Some additional notes from Monday’s session:
— Julien also offered an update on defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who has yet to return to practice since undergoing back surgery during training camp.
“Nothing more than what you’ve seen,” Julien said. “He’s skating right now, so he’s trending also in the right direction. (But) still not able to practice with us.”
— Monday was photo shoot day for the Bruins’ annual Pucks & Pups calendar. The cuteness level was high.
— As part of a collaboration with the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity, the Bruins hosted a special guest at practice: 12-year-old Liam Watson.
Liam hails from Wakefield, England, but is a big fan of the B’s and, in particular, captain Zdeno Chara. He skated with the team during warmups, received a personalized Bruins sweater and even fielded a few questions from the media in front of his favorite player’s locker.
“I’ve always liked the Bruins,” he said. “Always. I’ve always been a big fan.”
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images
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