Rask vs. Luongo; Soderberg centering the third line

Rask vs. Luongo; Soderberg centering the third line
February 4, 2014, 7:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks line-ups are set, and there should be enough recurring characters from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to make it a notable, heated matchup for both sides. Roberto Luongo will be making his first start at TD Garden since basically quitting in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins, and will be countered by Tuukka Rask for the Black and Gold.

Otherwise it will be the same lineup for the Bruins with Carl Soderberg manning the third line center spot with Chris Kelly skating in the lane of left wing. Claude Julien spoke about the Soderberg at center choice prior to the game, and doesn’t see it as much of a big deal.

“Kelly hasn’t played in six week so there’s always a lot more responsibility. We talked about Loui [Eriksson] starting on that line and giving him less responsibility about playing, most of the time, against other team’s top lines,” said Julien. “They have tried it and with those three guys I have no issue with that either.

“But you have to give guys a chance – guys who have been out for a while – to get back and find their game, it’s as simple as that. I think Kells [Chris Kelly] has played both positions, and Carl is skating well right now. He loves covering as much ice as he can, and the other guy is doing a great job at finding his game. So it’s worked out that way.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on the pregame warm-up:
 

Lucic-Krejci-Iginla

Marchand-Bergeron-Smith

Soderberg-Kelly-Eriksson

Paille-Campbell-Thornton


Chara-Boychuk

Bartkowski-Miller

Krug-Hamilton


Rask