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Lists of available, protected players for Las Vegas expansion draft will be made public 03.29.17 at 6:44 pm ET
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The list of available and protected players will be made public by the NHL for the expansion draft this June. (Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports)

The list of available and protected players will be made public by the NHL for the expansion draft this June. (Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports)

It turns out there will not be any secrets at this year’s expansion draft.

With the Vegas Golden Knights having their pick of the litter from all 30 NHL teams (so long as they meet their conditions, more on that in a second), there’s been some back and forth as to the league’s willingness to make both the list of available and protected players public info.

That hesitation makes sense when you’re talking about something as potentially awkward as this — be it knowing a player the fans didn’t want their team to protect is protected or that a fan favorite or bad contract went unprotected — but it’s one the players and general managers are apparently going to have to deal with come June.

According to a release from the league’s public relations team today, both lists will be made available simultaneously with their distribution to the clubs at a date to be determined later.

So, who’s protected or exposed for the Bruins?

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Top prospect Charlie McAvoy officially joining Bruins organization 03.29.17 at 3:52 pm ET
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Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy will join the organization this week. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy will join the organization this week. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

As revealed by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney on Wednesday, top prospect Charlie McAvoy has made his decision.

“Charlie has decided that he will be foregoing the rest of his college career,” Sweeney began his press conference at Warrior Ice Arena. “He will be signing an ATO (amateur tryout) very shortly and heading down to play games this weekend. He’ll get practice time tomorrow, probably practice Friday, and likely be available for the weekend of games.”

The practices, by the way, are in Providence and with the club’s AHL affiliate P-Bruins and not with the Big B’s in Boston. It’s the path that barring him playing in an NHL game (regular season or postseason) would allow the Bruins to officially begin his entry-level deal next year.

“It’s the first step,” Sweeney said. “He made his decision to leave and we’re excited about that process. It leaves some options open, but most importantly while I’m discussing with his financial advisors and his agent — now with his leaving school I can call it that officially — that we’ll have ongoing discussions and see where it leads. But it leaves some options open first and foremost and gets him playing and acclimated.”

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Noel Acciari, Riley Nash continue strong play in Bruins win 03.29.17 at 8:44 am ET
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Noel Acciari scored his first career goal Tuesday night. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Noel Acciari scored his first career goal Tuesday night. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Riley Nash scored twice against the New York Islanders on Saturday night, one of the first signs the fourth line might have some new energy. On Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, that line once again shined, with Nash getting an assist and Noel Acciari scoring his first career NHL goal.

“It was special,” Acciari said. “Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it…I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good.

“Riley Nash made an unbelievable pass, so I was left with the easy part there.”

It took 45 games at the NHL level for Acciari to finally light the lamp, his goal being the third in the game against the Predators with four minutes remaining in the third period.

“I’m not really thinking at that point,” said Acciari. “I’m just – my mind is kind of just blank and as soon as I see it hit the netting, it was special… Just excited.”

More than just on the score sheet, Acciari continued to bring his trademark heavy hitting in a physical affair, leading to an eventual 10-minute misconduct in a mini-brawl at the end of the contest.

“I think I kind of strayed when I got back from my injury,” Acciari said. “I kind of strayed away from the hitting game and just getting in on the forecheck.”

“Part of the process with Noel that we talked about was rounding out his offensive game. You’re starting to see more, he’s making tight-area plays, and that was a great finish, obviously great play by Riley Nash,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s really added to that line and slid in seamlessly.”

Nash now has five points in his last three games, as his line with Dominic Moore and Acciari carried the tone of the game against the Preds.

“I’m glad I don’t have to play against him because those look like they hurt a lot of the times,” Nash said of Acciari. “It doesn’t matter if he’s hitting you or you’re trying to hit him. He’s pretty sturdy. And he just creates a lot of space.”

Acciari led the team with eight hits on Tuesday night with 13:07 minutes on the ice, an increase from just 7:57 on Saturday against the Islanders, as Cassidy continued to roll the line as long as it produced. Meanwhile, it was a third line of Ryan Spooner, Drew Stafford and Jimmy Hayes that saw its ice time decrease.

“He’s come up here and really given us an opportunity to look at that fourth line,” Cassidy said of Acciari. “Maybe a little heavier in terms of physicality, because he can get there to finish checks.”

Acciari, who has only played 24 games with the Bruins this season, has found a role with that fourth line, and his team mates who have been there all season appreciate it.

“It’s nice to watch,” said Nash. “It’s nice to see a guy on our line banging someone. I know me and Dom aren’t the most physical guys. But, Noel is picking up where we’re a little short.”

David Krejci battles through discomfort, scores game-winning goal for Bruins 03.29.17 at 6:06 am ET
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David Krejci scored his 22nd goal of the season in last night's win over the Preds. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

David Krejci scored his 22nd goal of the season in last night’s win over the Preds. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Like they did on Monday when he left practice earlier than anticipated, the Bruins had backup plans at their disposal if David Krejci (upper-body) was unable to play in Tuesday’s head-to-head with the Predators.

None of those plans would have made up for the loss of Krejci though, so Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy was more than happy to see the club’s second line center — and perhaps most creative pivot when on his game — not only suit up, but score the game-winning goal for the Bruins in a 4-1 final over the Predators at TD Garden.

“He looked good. I told him, I said, ‘If you wanted a day off, you should have just asked me,’ because I thought he was flying,” Cassidy said after the win. “But obviously he had a little injury that was nagging him, and he took care of it, and he looked good.”

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Tuukka Rask answers bell for Bruins with dominant showing vs. Predators 03.28.17 at 11:57 pm ET
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Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 24 saves in a 4-1 win over the Predators. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 24 saves in a 4-1 win over the Predators. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy was not afraid to demand a better compete and effort from his No. 1 goaltender last week.

And based on Tuesday’s results, maybe he should do it more often.

The message undoubtedly got through to the 30-year-old Rask, as he delivered a sensational outing that helped propel the Bruins to a 4-1 home victory over the Predators, with 24 stops on 25 shots against.

The bounceback did not go unnoticed by the B’s bench boss, either.

“I loved it,” Cassidy said of Rask’s game. “He really worked hard to find pucks in traffic, they created some good opportunities, and even the goal against, he found it. They just tipped it at eye level, so it was going to be a tough one, and we need to be better in the shooting lane on that one. But I thought he was terrific. Very pleased with his performance.”

The Bruins spotted Rask a two-goal edge through 20 minutes, but given the trouble the Bruins had with leads in Rask’s last start, there was no way that you were going to find comfort without No. 40 stepping up to the plate and shutting the door for the full 60.

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Bruins show up on time, finally score at even strength for win over Preds 03.28.17 at 9:42 pm ET
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The Bruins beat the Predators for their second straight win on Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins beat the Predators for their second straight win on Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tuukka Rask and the Bruins remember being booed off the ice in their last home game, a 6-3 loss to the Lightning last Thursday.

They were booed back to the locker room for a number of reasons, too.

Their slow start, which Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy blamed partially on himself, was trouble. Their inability to hold a lead — the Bruins blew three leads in less than three minutes of total action in the second period — was painful. And their third period,complete with the soft game-winning goal surrendered from Rask, was just straight-up dreadful and perhaps their worst period of the year.

But tonight’s sellout crowd had not a single thing to boo on Tuesday night, as the Bruins did everything they didn’t do in their last home game, and built off the positives of last Saturday’s road win over the Isles, to defeat the Predators by a 4-1 final at TD Garden.

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David Krejci, Tuukka Rask both in for Bruins against Preds 03.28.17 at 6:57 pm ET
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David Krejci (upper-body) will play tonight. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

David Krejci (upper-body) will play tonight. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

On Monday, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask returned to practice and said that he was 100 percent ready to play in the club’s next game. Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy backed his goaltender up, and while he said he would wait for Rask to feel good on gameday, he did admit that Rask was still the club’s No. 1 goaltender.

(Crazy to think that five serviceable games from Anton Khudobin for the first time all year haven’t put Rask on the waiver wire, right?)

That positivity in regards to No. 40 continued on into Tuesday’s optional skate, where Cassidy noted that Rask was healthy and ready to start tonight’s game against the Predators.

Then, as has become late season tradition, something weird happened with the Bruins’ goaltending situation.

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