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NEWARK — There was a time within the last month that Bruins coach Claude Julien considered switching Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson. Smith hadn’t scored a goal since Jan. 28. The second-year pro was not creating regular scoring chances.
Eriksson, however, is humming on the third line with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg. Julien was wary of busting up a good third line to repair the No. 2 unit.
“I thought about it,” Julien said. “The thing that made me hesitate was that third line has been so good. Do you break a good line to try and fix another one?”
The coaching staff also wanted to give Smith a chance to fight through his slump, which he snapped Monday with a goal against the Wild.