No changes for the Bruins roster

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No changes for the Bruins roster

Judging by the morning skate, the current roster of Bruins players is the one that they'll go out to battle with when the puck drops at 7 pm. The Bruins had 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders at their morning skate at TD Garden, and that included veteran forward Jay Panfolfo along with rookies David Warsofsky and Lane MacDermid.

Pandolfo is not on the roster to start the NHL season, but expect the 38-year-old to skate with the team for the next week or two while the Bruins coaching staff and management gauges exactly what they have on their active roster. In the meantime he'll skate and practice with the Bruins in a 48-game season where many GM's are prepared to use as many as 30 skates throughout the season.

Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice denoting that he'll be getting the starting nod, and the starting lineup should look just as it has for the entirety of training camp. Here are the expected lines and pairings:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin
Bourque-Kelly-Peverley
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Hamilton
Ference-McQuaid

Rask

Here's the New York Rangers' expected lineup courtesy of Pat Leonard from the New York Daily News.

Hagelin-Richards-Nash,

Gaborik-Stepan-Callahan,

Pyatt-Boyle-Kreider,

Rupp-Halpern-Segal

 

McDonagh-Girardi,

Staal-Stralman,

Del Zotto-Bickel

 

Lundqvist

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

CLEVELAND – Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Isaiah Thomas, out for the rest of the playoffs with a right hip injury, wasn’t in the Q Arena physically, but his presence – and his face via FaceTime – were inside the locker room in the initial moments following their 111-108 Game 3 win over Cleveland.

“We called him right after the game,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley. “He got to celebrate with us a little bit. It’s sad that he’s not here. We wish he was here with us. We just want him to get better.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens added, “I didn’t even realize that had happened until later on. one of my first text messages was from Isaiah.  He’s hurting not being out there but he’s completely invested, for sure.”

He initially suffered the injury on March 15 at Minnesota, but re-aggravated it in the first half of Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Cavs. Less than 24 hours later, Thomas was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.

Instead of Thomas being the rock of sorts that the Celtics lean on with his play, he has become their rallying cry for the remainder of the playoffs.

“All we can do is play hard for him,” Bradley said. “He was excited with the way we played. We’re a family. Other guys got an opportunity to step up for us. Marcus (Smart) had a big game for us. It could be somebody else next game.”

Smart led the Celtics with a career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven 3’s going down.

And most important, the Celtics avoided going down 3-0 which would have all but sealed their fate in this series considering no team in league history has ever come back for a 3-0 series deficit.

Doing so without Thomas, the Celtics’ leading scorer and the top regular season scorer in the Eastern Conference, made the win all that more impressive for Boston.

“It meant a lot,” Horford said. “We know, Isaiah gives us so much and gave us so much this year. For him, we definitely wanted to come out and fight for him and our season and our team. It felt good to keep believing despite being down big. Just felt good to win the game and bring life back to our locker room. Because going down 3-0, that’s a death sentence pretty much. This was big.”

Not only to the Celtics players but also to Thomas who also texted head coach Brad Stevens full of excitement following Boston’s surprising win.

“He was excited,” Horford recalled. “He was ecstatic. I know he wishes he was here being part of it. We just need to keep doing it for him and our group and doing the best we can.”