Boston Bruins

Bruins release 2011-12 schedule

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Bruins release 2011-12 schedule

The Boston Bruins will open their season with back-to-back home games against two teams they just defeated in the playoffs.

The B's, as CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reported yesterday, will host the Flyers on Thursday, Oct. 6, at which time they will raise the 2011 Stanley Cup championship banner. Then, on Saturday, Oct. 8, they face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The complete schedule was released Thursday by the National Hockey League.

Other highlights of next year's schedule:

Thirteen of the Bruins' first 17 games will be played at TD Garden.

An early back-to-back showdown with the Canadiens, in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 27, and in Montreal on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The traditional day-after-Thanksgiving game against the Red Wings on Friday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m.

A tough back-to-back: In Pittsburgh on Monday, Dec. 5 and in Winnipeg on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

A Stanley Cup Finals rematch against Vancouver at TD Garden on Saturday, January 7 at 1 p.m.

A six-game, 10-day road trip, beginning Feb. 15.

The final regular-season game on Saturday, April 7, at 3 p.m. against Buffalo at TD Garden.

Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

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Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.

Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.

“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.

“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”

Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason:

DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Czarnik-Purcell
Beleskey-Kuraly-Fitzgerald
Schaller-Szwarz-Senyshyn

Miller-McAvoy
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
O’Gara-Zboril

McIntyre
Subban