Bruins vs. Rangers: Boston alters defense pairings, Brad Marchand expected to play

USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are expected to have an altered defense corps for Game 1 on Thursday.

The Boston Bruins are expected to make changes to their blue line for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Those changes are not believed to be by choice.

Head coach Claude Julien stated after morning skate on Thursday that the team will likely be without Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden. All three players were absent from practice and are believed to be dealing with some extent of injury.

Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug are expected to draw into the lineup as a result. During morning skate, Hamilton was paired with Zdeno Chara; Bartkowski was with Johnny Boychuk; and Krug was with Adam McQuaid.

In addition to the potential blue line injuries, forward Brad Marchand reportedly left the ice early due to some kind of injury. Julien stated that Marchand would be playing in Thursday night's game and that whatever was bothering him would not alter his availability.

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