Bruins

Rask heads Bruins lineup vs. Rangers

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Rask heads Bruins lineup vs. Rangers

The Boston Bruins lineup thats seemingly been set in stoneall week was exactly who took the ice for pregame warm-ups on Saturday night.Lane MacDermid and David Warsofsky are expected to be the healthy scratches andgoaltender Tuukka Rask led the Bruins on the ice denoting that hell get theexpected start for the Black and Gold.

The Finnish netminder is 2-3-1 with a 1.32 goals againstaverage and a .961 save percentage in six career games against the Rags whileHenrik Lundqvist is 19-6-2 with a 1.53 goals against average and .947 savepercentage with six shutouts in 27 career games against the Bruins.

As part of tonights pregame festivities, the Bunker HillPipe Band from Charlestown will play the introductionto the Dropkick Murphys song Cadence to Arms a variation of the famousbagpipe anthem Scotlandof the Brave.

Here is the line that will face off against the New YorkRangers when the puck is dropped at TD Garden at 7 p.m.

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin

Bourque-Kelly-Peverley

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk

Seidenberg-Hamilton

Ference-McQuaid

Rask

Inconsistent Bruins hope to settle in at home

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Inconsistent Bruins hope to settle in at home

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' actual 2-3-0 won-loss record isn’t particularly terrible, especially when you consider they were without Patrice Bergeron and David Backes.

But they've been wildly inconsistent within those first five games, playing a couple of very good games against the Predators and Coyotes while suffering three ugly, non-competitive losses to Colorado and Vegas. The Bruins are 20th in goals scored (2.8 goals per game) and 22nd in goals allowed (3.6), and their special teams have been average at best in a soft part of the schedule that should have allowed them to get off to a good start.

The Bruins have looked sloppy much of the time with chaotic breakouts, far too many breakdowns in defensive coverage, and goaltending has been average at best.

As a result they're scuffling in the Atlantic Division as the Lightning and Maple Leafs have sprinted out to strong starts. Clearly it’s still early -- nearly the entire season is in front of them -- but there’s also no illusion about the need for a quick turnaround in what’s going to be a competitive division.

That's why the next four games, all at TD Garden, are so important.

“We’ve been inconsistent in our game. We’ve been good and we’ve been not good, so hopefully being home will allow us to get back into form,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “We knew going in with a youth movement that we’d had some ups and downs. We’ve had both. We’ve had some really strong games and we’ve had some other games where there’s a learning curve.

“As good as [our] prospects are, it falls on the core group to be solid and consistent every night. Then you lose a bit of your core group [to injuries] and you need your support players that aren’t your core group -- but aren’t kids, either -- to contribute. So we’re battling through all of that, and it’s up to us to put in a game plan that gets us through it. We haven’t achieved the level we’d like. We aren’t hiding behind that. We’d like to be better than we are right now, and we’re facing it head on every day.”

Clearly there are plenty of players in the “support player” category referenced by Cassidy who haven’t performed to date, and that also explains some of the Bruins consistency issues. Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano and Riley Nash have a combined two assists and a combined minus-5 rating through those first five games, and are among the players that need to step up and perform if the Bruins are going to start achieving the consistency that Cassidy is actively seeking right now.