The Boston Bruins have three rookie defensemen in the lineup for the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Rangers.
It's not because they want to.
It's because they have to.
''As you know, we're getting thin here,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said on Friday, a day after Torey Krug, in his first career NHL playoff game, scored to send the game into overtime and Boston defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven, second-round playoff series.
With veterans Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden injured, the Bruins used first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton along with Krug and Mart Bartkowski on defense. Hamilton assisted on Krug's goal with 2:55 left in regulation, and Bartkowski played a career-high 26 minutes in the 3-2 victory over the Rangers.
''For a coach, you couldn't ask for a better situation,'' Julien said on Friday, when his team took the day off to rest up for Sunday's Game 2. ''A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff ...