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With the Bruins continuing to win, Bruce Cassidy will keep it simple

Barry Chin/Globe Staff file

Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo bounced back after misplaying a puck Tuesday night.

By Globe Staff 

Much like his highly successful fourth line, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy is keeping it simple: Tuukka Rask will be back in net Thursday night when the Panthers visit the Garden, and he plans to use the same 18 skaters who Tuesday night helped the Black and Gold roll up their 5-1 win over the Islanders.

“We’re looking at the same group,” Cassidy said following a brief workout late Wednesday morning in Brighton. “I don’t think there will be any surprises, hopefully, but that’s the plan.”

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Meanwhile, veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid remains eager to get back in the lineup now that his mid-October leg fracture has healed. But with the lineup so hot, Cassidy has been unwilling to make any roster changes.

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A right-shooting backliner, McQuaid logically would sub in for either Brandon Carlo or Kevan Miller. When Carlo misplayed a puck and then fell, leading to the Islanders’ only goal Tuesday night, it looked as though McQuaid might get a chance to suit up now, but Cassidy was impressed with how Carlo recovered.

“The only thing I said to Brandon was, ‘You are better when you’re skating,’ ” said Cassidy. “Some nights, if you are standing still making plays, there are guys in this league that will do that.

“I think he’s a better player when he’s moving. He’s a big body. He can cover ice, so when he’s moving, plays can open up for him better.”

Recovering quickly from errors — shaking off the boo-boos — is a key to success for younger players, noted Cassidy.

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“One of Charlie’s biggest strengths is that he can park things in a hurry,” said Cassidy, referring to standout rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy. “He’ll just get out there and play and off he goes.

“Brandon went through a little bit of that. We’d like him to recover quicker, and last night I thought he did a good job with it. Team around him helped with that, so good for him.

“We’ve got a strong D corps, so he probably knows in the back of his head, ‘Hey, I can’t let this one get to me, I’ve got to keep going.” That’s the competition we’ve created and I think he did a real good job.”

  The fourth line, with Sean Kuraly centering Tim Schaller and Noel Acciari, has rolled up a 4-4—8 line over the last three games, with Acciari picking up one goal in each of those games.

No mystery to what makes the line click: high energy, forcing the opposition deep in its own zone, creating offensive chances with size and pressure.

“They’re all OK with it,” said Cassidy, noting how some players struggle when cast in simple, aggressive roles. “They’re just OK with it. They get it. And they’ve been rewarded.”

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  The win in Brooklyn improved the Bruins’ record to 16-3-2 (.810) in their last 21 games and left them in second place in the Atlantic Division, 2 points ahead of the Maple Leafs.

  Rask improved to 11-0-1 (.958) in his last 12 starts. Anton Khudobin probably will start Saturday vs. the Hurricanes, leaving Rask with the start Sunday night in Pittsburgh.

  The Bruins again didn’t trail Tuesday night, the eighth game in a row they haven’t had to chase a lead. Their time working with the advantage over the last eight games: 266:32.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.