Rookie Miller back in for this weekend for B's

Rookie Miller back in for this weekend for B's
December 7, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Kevan Miller's deal will pay him $1.6 million over the two seasons following this season.

(AP Photo)

Optional skates for both the Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday morning as both Eastern Conference titans are in the middle of busy stretches.

Both goaltenders were out on the ice for the Black and Gold, but it’s expected that Tuukka Rask will be getting the start after chastising himself for a disappointing second period against the Canadiens on Thursday night. It’s also expected Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net for the Penguins in a game that’s important for both teams that have been riding near the top of the conference all season.

Both Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid have been ruled out for the weekend, so they’ll both be out for the back-to-back games against the Penguins and Maple Leafs on Saturday and Sunday. That means rookie Kevan Miller will be in the lineup for the B’s playing his fourth game of the season while stepping in for McQuaid in that bottom pairing.

“[Miller] has played really well for us. I don’t watch every game [in Providence], but I’ve been told that he’s pretty steady down there too,” said Claude Julien. “First of all he’s a big, strong individual. He handles the physicality and the battles really well, and he’s really strong along the wall.

“He’s also a guy that’s made some really good first passes: not fancy, but effective. I like that from a defenseman that can make the good first pass. It’s like football that when you make that good first pass you get the offense going. He’s been good that way, he’s been reliable and I haven’t seen him make many – if any at all – mistakes.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on recent practices:
 
Lucic-Krejci-Iginla
Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson
Soderberg-Kelly-Smith
Paille-Campbell-Thornton
 
Chara-Hamilton
Bartkowski-Seidenberg
Krug-Miller
 
Rask