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Brad Marchand remains missing from Bruins practice 12.22.10 at 10:58 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After a high-energy practice on Tuesday, the Bruins rolled out the same revamped lines at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday. Brad Marchand (undisclosed injury) remains out for the B’s. The injury stems from a hit he took Saturday against Washington. Here are the forward lines:

Lucic – Savard – Horton

Recchi – Bergeron – Seguin

Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder

Paille – Campbell – Thornton

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Bruins shake lines up following ugly loss 12.21.10 at 11:34 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Nobody could have been happy following the B’s 3-0 loss to the Ducks on Monday, and Claude Julien responded by shaking up the offensive lines in practice on Tuesday. Brad Marchand remains out, so the lines were as follows:

Lucic – Savard – Horton

Recchi  - Bergeron – Seguin

Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder

Paille – Campbell – Thornton

A couple of quick thoughts to consider:

- Looks like that generation-spanning line might finally get some serious time. The Recchi – Bergeron – Seguin line looked good in training camp but has never been a fixture in the regular season.

- Nathan Horton finally gets Marc Savard to set him up. This could mean improved offensive production, but Horton’s entire game needs a shot of energy.

- There was a bit a brief exchange between Savard and Bergeron at one point in the skate, with the two exchanging cross-checks. It didn’t seem serious or something that lasted throughout the practice, but it’s good to see some fire from a squad that’s been lethargic.

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Daniel Paille ready to fill in for another injury 12.20.10 at 2:10 pm ET
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Another injury, another opportunity for Daniel Paille.

Daniel Paille has played in 11 games this season. (AP)

That’s how the season has been for the Bruins winger and nightly assumed healthy scratch, but with Brad Marchand out Monday, he’ll once again see the good that comes of the undesirable role.

Since the second game of the season, Paille has been out of the lineup unless another forward has been injured, or, as was the case with Tyler Seguin last week, a healthy scratch. He’s played 11 games this season, with one assist and a minus-2 rating.

The idea of only playing when another guy is hurt is less than ideal from his perspective as both a teammate and an individual, but Paille is simply working with what he’s got.

“I’ve got to make the best of the opportunity every game,” Paille said Monday. “At this point, [an injury] is the only way I’m going to get into a game until I can prove otherwise.”

Marchand will miss Monday’s game vs. the Ducks due to a hit he took Saturday night. Claude Julien noted that the winger remains day-to-day and that his injury — which remains undisclosed — is not long-term. Even so, Paille figures to take Marchand’s place on the energy line with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell.

Paille, who played in 74 games for the B’s last season after being acquired from the Sabres, has experience playing with Thornton. Still, the merlot line of Marchand – Campbell – Thornton has been one of the most consistent fixtures of this Bruins squad. Whether it can operate as efficiently without one of its parts remains to be seen.

“I know what to expect with Thornton and the effort he gives every night. I played with Campbell a little bit in the preseason — I really enjoyed playing with him as well,” Paille said. “He and I, I feel that we play almost similar. I think I can adjust to his game very well.

“They just bring that energy type of game,” Paille added of the line. It’s just something I’m looking to get into tonight and get a chance to play with them.”

Paille admitted that though his mind has been fresh all season, the time out of the lineup has made it “a bit harder to get in the same shape” as his teammates who play each game. He did say that John Whitesides has worked with him to make up for it so that he’s “physically ready” when he does get the call.

As for Marchand, Thornton isn’t worried about the mindset of the undersized winger, whose status is uncertain among the media given how few details have been divulged.

“Nobody likes to miss a game,” Thornton said when asked about Marchand. “He’s a competitor and he wants to play, but these things happen during the course of a long season. He’s always in a good mood, that kid.”

Though the Bruins will be missing one of their more fiery players and top penalty killers, Thornton is confident in what Paille will bring should he be inserted into both roles.

“I’ve played with [Paille] enough games to know what he brings. If he’s on our line, we’ll do the same thing,” Thornton said. “Get pucks in deep, work down low, and be strong on pucks. …They bring a lot of the same stuff to the table, so it should be a fairly easy transition.”

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Post-morning-skate odds and ends: Tim Thomas in net, Brad Marchand out at 12:02 pm ET
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Tim Thomas made 25 saves in the third period of Saturday's win. (AP)

Tim Thomas was first off the ice on Monday morning, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be in net vs. the Ducks at 7:30 p.m. Thomas bailed the Bruins out on Saturday night when he made 25 saves in the the third period against the Capitals in a 3-2 victory. Here are some other notes following morning skate:

- Brad Marchand wasn’t on the ice and is not expected to play against the Ducks. Coach Claude Julien reiterated following the skate that the energetic winger is day-to-day, adding that he is “still stiff” from a hit he took on Saturday against the Capitals. Of course, Marchand also took a crushing hit from P.K. Subban in Thursday’s game in Montreal, so it seems he just needs some time to recover from a beating he took over the last couple of games.

In Marchand’s place will be Daniel Paille, who said he was told by assistant coaches that he should expect to play. Aside from the season-opener, Paille has only seen time due to another player being either injured or scratched.

- When asked about what the B’s are facing in the Ducks, Julien called them a “big strong team” who plays “heavy game.” The Bruins coach likened the Ducks to a team like the Flyers and said their style of play is similar to “what we’re trying to do here.”

- In facing the Ducks, Shawn Thornton will be facing the team with which he got his first real chance. Thornton spent the 2006-07 season with the Ducks and on Monday will go against former teammates including George Parros, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Teemu Selanne.

Thornton spoke highly of his time in Anaheim, though he said Parros is the only one he still keeps in touch with.

- It’s never too early to begin looking at the playoff picture. Milan Lucic had the standings in mind when assessing the matchup of the Bruins and Ducks.

“They’re eighth in the West, and they’re eighth in the East,” the Bruins’ leading goal-scorer said. “We have a chance to move up here and move up in the standings and be tied with Montreal for first in the division. We know it’s a big game for us and we want to [leave] things off the right way going into the Christmas break here.”

- Last but not least, Rene Rancournament night has finally arrived. The Bruins will be giving out complimentary ornaments of National Anthem singer and cult hero Rene Rancourt to fans in attendance. There’s been quite a buzz about it from fans and media alike. Personally, I’lll consider it a letdown if the ornament doesn’t fist-pump and point correctly.

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Bruins lead Islanders, 2-1, after two 12.09.10 at 8:41 pm ET
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A shorthanded goal from each team, including Brad Marchand’s third shorthanded strike of the season, has the Bruins leading the Islanders, 2-1, after two periods.

The Bruins fell victim to the old shorthanded penalty shot by Frans Nielsen. The Islanders center had a shorthanded breakaway but was tripped by Patrice Bergeron. A penalty shot was awarded, and Nielsen beat Tuukka Rask with a top-shelf backhander to tie the game at 3:41.

Then, with the Bruins shorthanded due to a David Krejci hooking penalty, Brad Marchand and Rick DiPietro both came chased after a puck at the top of the circle. DiPietro won the race, but Marchand blocked his bid, chasing after the puck to grab it behind the net and score with ease at 14:41. He’s now tied for thirst in the NHL with three shorthanded goals.

The Bruins are outshooting the Islanders, 25-24.

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Bruins defeat Panthers with strong third period 11.24.10 at 10:00 pm ET
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Mark Recchi had a pair of goals and Tim Thomas picked up his 11th win on Wednesday in a 3-1 Bruins win over the Panthers in Florida.

It was yet another game in which the B’s had to fight back in the third period, as they entered the period trailing, 1-0, before they got a shorthanded tally from Brad Marchand and a two goals from Mark Recchi.

The Panthers got their lone goal from Steve Reinprecht in the second period. Aside from that, Thomas was sound once again, stopping the other 31 shots he saw. Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 35 shots.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Brad Marchand, sheikh of the shorthanded goal. After Vokoun misplayed a puck behind the net and sent it in front of an unoccupied goal, Brad Marchand raced to it and chipped it in, picking up his second shorthanded goal and third goal of his career.

- With Recchi’s second goal, the Bruins are now a — brace yourself — plus-17 in the third period, which is of course tops in the league (the Capitals, at plus-11 are second in the league). Something just happens to this Bruins team in the third period, especially when they’re trailing.

- Recchi reached yet another milestone as his goal was the 1500th point of his career. He’s 13th all-time.

- The third-period shaking up of the lines seemed to work, though Recchi’s first goal came from Krejci. Here’s how they looked after the changes:

Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder

Lucic – Bergeron – Horton

Caron – Campbell – Recchi

Marchand – Seguin – Thornton

- The Bruins were essentially handed the dagger to put in Florida’s heart when Radek Dvorak flipped the puck into the stands from his own end early on in a Michal Repik penalty. The result was a 5-on-3 on which Recchi scored his second goal.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Dennis Wideman was instrumental in setting up the Panther’s first goal. The former Bruin faked out Jordan Caron at the point and slid it over to Michal Repek, whose shot’s rebound found its way to Reinprecht.

- Anyone with access to twitter, (or, at times, the Big Bad Blog) can see that Panthers fans are irate that their old dog in Nathan Horton came to Boston and became a star. Luckily for those Panther fans, they didn’t see Horton do much as their opponent on Wednesday night. Horton had two shots on goal, following up a dismal showing against Tampa by disappearing for most of the night at BankAtlantic Center.

Horton, like others, picked it up in the third period, but the Bruins have seen far better from him.

- It was the third consecutive game in which the Bruins were trailing entering the third period. They’re 1-1-1 in that span.

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Fourth line a source of energy for Bruins 10.23.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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Gregory Campbell's done plenty of fighting, but the fourth line has proven they can do a lot more than that (AP Photo)

Gregory Campbell's done plenty of fighting, but the fourth line has proven they can do a lot more than that (AP Photo)

If you think very highly of the Bruins’ fourth line after its most recent example of high-energy play on Thursday, you’re not alone. The combination of youngster Brad Marchand, newcomer Gregory Campbell and fan favorite Shawn Thornton has made for a line that has impressed many on the young season, including the guy who determines their minutes.

“That’s as good as I think we’ve seen our fourth line here in the years that I’ve been here as far as what they do, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to start these guys,” Claude Julien said following Saturday’s game. “They’re reliable enough that if the other team puts their top line in, they know, and what’s good about them is that they don’t question what they’re going to do. They put pucks in deep and they’re going to work and they work hard and they seem to be in sync with the fore-check, but they seem to set the stage and the tempo for the game early on.”

The line can expect about 10 minutes of ice time a game, with Campbell and Marchand both seeing time on the penalty  kill. Thornton and Campbell both have a plus-one rating, while Marchand’s is even. There’s a lot to like, and the members of the fourth line are taking pride in it.

“We work hard,” Gregory Campbell said following Saturday’s morning skate. “The coaching staff has given us a lot of confidence and that helps out a lot as a player. [They've] kind of expected us to do more than just be a responsible checking line. That’s something that we have to take pride in, to be an energy line and to be responsible and to be hard to play against. On the flip side of that, we have to try to create things, and that helps a lot when we have three good lines that are playing before us, and for us to go out there at key times in the game and provide that energy and wear the other teams down. It helps over the course of a game and the season.”

The players undoubtedly appreciate the minutes that they’ve been given each night. Marchand knows that if they are to continue getting as much ice time as they’ve gotten, they’ll need to prove capable of passing each test they face. Going against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals’ top line on Thursday was the most recent example of them doing so, and perhaps a big reason for Julien’s postgame praise. Marchand hopes that as the games pile up, the fourth line continues to handle whichever line they’re up against.

“I think that the main thing as that we want to take advantage of the other teams’ fourth lines,” Marchand said on Saturday. “We just want to get it deep in the other team’s end and try to take as many pucks to the net as we can. We want to be defensive and be accountable in our end. It’s nice of [Julien] to trust us against other team’s top lines. We played against Ovechkin’s line there the other night, and I think we held our own, so it’s nice that they trust us and they know we’re accountable out there.”

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