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Looking for a spark, Julien juggles his lines

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / October 19, 2011

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By last night’s third period, the Bruins finally showed some urgency on the ice. Appropriately, there was urgency behind the bench.

Through his club’s first five games, coach Claude Julien has been patient with his lineup. Aside from injuries, Julien hasn’t juggled lines, demoted players, or used the bench as the ultimate motivator.

Last night, change finally came.

Milan Lucic (zero shots in 13:43 of ice time), his presence and offensive touch nowhere to be found, was dropped to the third line. Lucic skated alongside Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Benoit Pouliot replaced Lucic on the first line, where he played with Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton.

With Peverley moved to the third line, Jordan Caron moved up to the second line to skate with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The only threesome that wasn’t altered was the fourth line of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Shawn Thornton.

“I was trying to get their focus back,’’ said Julien. “As lines, they weren’t doing much. They were frustrated. We saw guys trying hard, but probably being too individual as players. Other guys that weren’t quite going. So we tried to mix it up and get other guys going. Get them refocused on doing their job instead of worrying about who they’re with and the so-called chemistry. It was more about going back to the grind and doing our job here.’’

Krejci inches closer

For the first time since suffering a core injury last Tuesday, David Krejci skated alongside his Bruins teammates yesterday.

Krejci missed his third straight game last night, a 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes, but the team was encouraged that he participated in the morning skate. He could return as soon as Saturday against San Jose, if not tomorrow when Toronto visits the Garden. Krejci declined to comment on his condition.

“Starting to skate with us, so he’s inching closer to returning, but not tonight,’’ said coach Claude Julien before the game.

Krejci has one goal and no assists in three games. During his absence, Seguin has centered the No. 1 line between Lucic and Horton. Seguin remained on the first line last night for the third straight game.

When Krejci is ready, Seguin most likely will return to the third line. If the Bruins deem Seguin more effective at center than right wing, the 19-year-old will be in the middle on the No. 3 line. Kelly would move to the left side. Pouliot will remain on the right wing. Entering last night, Seguin had a 1-4-5 line to lead all Bruins in scoring.

McQuaid scratched

Adam McQuaid, injured last Wednesday against Carolina, was a game-time scratch. He participated in practice Monday, then skated yesterday morning. He was scheduled for additional testing before last night’s game. McQuaid had been suffering from concussion-like symptoms after falling into the RBC Center end boards and hurting his neck.

Kampfer improving

Steven Kampfer, who sprained the MCL in his left knee Sept. 29, could be cleared for contact in time for today’s practice. Kampfer resumed skating Sunday. He practiced without contact Monday and skated yesterday morning.

Kampfer suffered a sprain in his right knee last year during a late-season Providence assignment. His lost recent injury is not as severe as last year’s sprain.

“I was fortunate enough that it wasn’t as bad,’’ Kampfer said. “The recovery time is a lot less than it was last year. It’s a positive sign that I’m back on the ice as soon as I am.’’

If the Bruins are injury-free when Kampfer is considered ready for game action, the former Michigan star most likely will become the No. 7 defenseman. Matt Bartkowski then would be assigned to Providence, where he can see big-time minutes in all situations.

Kaberle returns

Tomas Kaberle left Boston with a new traveling companion: his 2010-11 championship ring. Kaberle received his bauble from general manager Peter Chiarelli yesterday. Last night marked Kaberle’s return to Boston following his offseason signing with the Hurricanes. “If there’s emotions, then good for him,’’ said Carolina coach Paul Maurice. “He should be somewhat overwhelmed by getting a Stanley Cup ring. He had a big part in it.’’ . . . Zdeno Chara has switched from Easton to Warrior sticks. Chara primarily had been an Easton client but went back to Warrior, which he had used in earlier years, because Easton dropped his preferred model. At times last season, Chara used an Easton shaft with a Warrior blade. Chara hasn’t logged a point in six games . . . Lucic and Johnny Boychuk were credited with six hits apiece . . . Joe Corvo missed the final 10 minutes of the first period. Corvo was flattened by Brett Sutter during a race for the puck. Corvo sailed into the boards, absorbing the hit with his right shoulder. After several moments on the ice, Corvo got up and went to the dressing room. Corvo finished with 16:49 of ice time.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.

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