Seidenberg, Bruins get day away from ice

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Seidenberg, Bruins get day away from ice

WILMINGTON, MA The Bruins scrapped the on-ice portion ofThursday practice after completing a stretch of three games played in five days and readying for a rare Friday night home tilt against the New YorkIslanders. The Bruins hadnt had a day off the ice since theFriday prior to their home opening win against the Rangers, so now was the time,with back-to-back games popping up on the Boston regular season schedule nextweek. Dennis Seidenberg wasnt on the ice at Ristuccia Arena aftermissing his second straight game with a lower body injury, but Bruins coachClaude Julien indicated he would have been if theyd slapped together a fewdrills on the ice. Seidenberg didnt skate today because nobody else did. Ifthey were out there he would have been right out there with them, said Julien.Hes been in a day-to-day situation and that hasnt changed. If hespracticing then you know that hes close. But were making decisions like thatwith the long haul in mind rather than the short term.Seidenberg originally suffered the injury late in the gameagainst the Rangers last weekend when the German defenseman collided with RyanCallahan and appeared to be flexing his leg on the bench in the third period.Seidenbergs injury has meant that spare defenseman Aaron Johnson has beeninserted into the lineup for the last two games, though the Bruins coachingstaff went to a five defensemen rotation at points Wednesday night against theBlueshirts.

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Bruins sign pair of draft picks, including BC's Fitzgerald, to entry-level deals

Amidst the current turmoil at the NHL level, the Bruins delivered a little good news about the future today . . . with more potentially to come. 

The Bruins announced the signing of a pair of prospects/former draft picks -- Boston College forward Ryan Fitzgerald and defenseman Emil Johansson -- to entry-level contracts that will kick in next season. There will likely be another wave of signings with the Bruins from the amateur ranks once players like Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are finished up with their college teams in the NCAA tournament, though it remains to be seen exactly which players end up taking the NHL plunge. 

There was some uncertainty as to whether Fitzgerald would definitely sign with Boston after completing his senior season at BC, but he will immediately join the Providence Bruins on an amateur tryout agreement after signing a two-year deal. Johansson will join the Bruins on a Professional Tryout Agreement with a three-year entry level deal that kicks off next season. 

The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Fitzgerald was an alternate captain for BC in 2016-17, with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 34 games with 56 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. Fitzgerald is also the son of Billerica native and former Bruins forward Tommy Fitzgerald, who took to Twitter on Friday to voice his overwhelming pride over his oldest signing an NHL contract. He was a fourth-round pick by the Bruins in 2013.

Johansson, 20, completed his first season with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League in 2016-17, establishing career highs with 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points with 26 penalty minutes in 49 games. The B's selected him in the seventh round in 2014.

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

BRIGHTON -- The Bruns got back to work on Friday, but were without their No. 1 goaltender for practice at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of their biggest game of the season Saturday night against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center 

Tuukka Rask was given a maintenance day after playing three games in four days, and Matt Beleskey was also missing “on family leave." The off-day for Rask could have very well about getting away from the rink mentally as it was physically; he has a 3-6-0 record during the month of March. 

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy said after practice that he wouldn’t be making a decision on his starting goalie in Brooklyn until Saturday, but it would be stunning if Rask didn't play.

“We’ll see how things clear up . . . and see where we’re at,” said Cassidy of any Bruins lineup changes against the Isles. “We’ll know by then. [The starting goalie] will be determined tomorrow. I don’t want to get out in front of it, to be honest with you.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice, with Cassidy uncertain of any changes he might make between now and Saturday night: 
 
Marchand-Bergeron-Backes
Stafford-Krejci-Backes
Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes
Moore-Nash-Acciari
 
Chara-Carlo
Krug-McQuaid
C. Miller-K. Miller