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Big week ahead for Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  March 21, 2011 10:34 AM

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WILMINGTON -- Good morning from Ristuccia Arena, where the Bruins will have their final tuneup before a critical stretch of games.

Tomorrow, they host the Devils, who are coming off a 3-0 win over Columbus. Then on Thursday, they'll go up against the Canadiens. Montreal thumped Minnesota yesterday, 8-1.

"I think this is a great opportunity to get our home record to where it should be," Claude Julien said. "We've got lots of games here. Obviously some good challenges. There's nothing wrong with what's going on here as far as our schedule is concerned. I think it's a great opportunity. We've got to take advantage of it."

* Brad Marchand is eligible to play tomorrow after serving his two-game suspension. The Bruins have 13 forwards. No indication on who might sit tomorrow.

* Shane Hnidy can be activated from long-term injured reserve tomorrow. Hnidy must receive final clearance from team doctors before dressing for a game. Hnidy will not likely play tomorrow.

* Expect Tim Thomas to start tomorrow.

* Julien didn't think much of Tuukka Rask's blowups against Toronto and Nashville. In Toronto, Rask had words with Dennis Seidenberg after the defenseman screened him on a shot. Two days earlier, Rask tossed his stick after Steven Kampfer interfered with him on David Legwand's goal. "I don't support that," Julien said. "And I don't think anybody supports that, including him. Sometimes frustration sets in when you see players breaking their sticks after a goal against. You see them put their heads up in the air after they miss an open net. There's a frustration part. I'm certainly not going to stand here and start accusing him of that. But I think it's something you don't want to see from anybody. It has a big impact on your team. Having said that, I think Tuukka's aware of that. If anything, he's been playing some of his best hockey lately. So I don't think there's any need for that. Sometimes you've got to control your emotions. He's frustrated with the first half of the year and he wants to help this hockey club. Sometimes his emotions run a little too high and he reacts that way. Having said that, it had no influence on my decision on Saturday."

Today's lineup:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi/Michael Ryder
Tyler Seguin-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Steven Kampfer-Shane Hnidy

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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