NEWARK — Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla, Chris Kelly, and Daniel Paille did not travel with the team to New Jersey.
Today’s regular-season finale will be the final tuneup before the Bruins start the playoffs against Detroit. Game 1 will most likely take place on Thursday at TD Garden. The Celtics have a home game on Wednesday.
“It’s definitely going to be a tough team to play against,” Loui Eriksson said of the Wings. “It’s a really good team. We still have one more game here, then we’re going to focus on that. Just excited to start the playoffs.”
Of the three teams the Bruins could have drawn – Detroit, Columbus, and Philadelphia were in the mix – the Wings will be the toughest matchup. The Wings have qualified for the playoffs 23 straight times. They have a good goalie in Jimmy Howard, premier players in Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall, and skilled youngsters such as Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, and Tomas Jurco. The Wings play with pace and skill.
Today, the Bruins’ priority will be to escape the Prudential Center in good health. Paille was injured yesterday on a hit from Jake McCabe. Paille’s status is unknown. Kelly is out with back spasms. It’s possible Kelly will be back for Game 1.
The Bruins recalled Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Alexander Khokhlachev, and Matt Lindblad from Providence on emergency recall. All four will play this afternoon against New Jersey in the regular-season finale. This will be Khokhlachev’s first NHL game.