TORONTO – Jarome Iginla’s absence from the Boston Bruins’ lineup was brief.
Iginla was back Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs after missing the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings a day earlier with what the team called a lower-body injury.
The 36-year-old former Calgary Flames captain leads the Bruins with 30 goals and is second in points with 61.
Iginla replaced forward Carl Soderberg, who returned to Boston for the birth of his child, according to coach Claude Julien.
Jordan Caron, who took Iginla’s spot in Detroit, stays in.
Chad Johnson gets the start in goal. Johnson, Tuukka Rask’s backup, is 17-3-1 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .926 save percentage this season.
Julien said the Bruins have talked about giving some star players time to rest late in the season with the top seed in the Eastern Conference all but locked up. Not now, though.
“We’ve been talking about that for a while, but we don’t feel that right now is that time,” Julien said Thursday night before pre-game warm-ups. “Still lots of games to be played, and the rest that they would get right now I don’t think would be beneficial for them down the road, so we’re just going to push a little bit further here but very soon you’re going to see the changes.”
Five players have taken part in all 76 games this season for the Bruins, all forwards: leading scorer David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Reilly Smith, Brad Marchand and Gregory Campbell.
“Not too many players want to sit out,” Julien said. “But they understand what’s the reason for sitting out if we get to that stage and we’ve done it every year. Our motto and our philosophy with this team’s always been the same, it’s always going to be team-first.
“It’s not about the individuals and what they want more than what’s good for the team, and they’ve learned to accept that.”
Marchand is one of those players who does not want the rest.
“It’s the only opportunity I’ve had in four or five years to play a full season,” he said. “I haven’t gotten suspended yet. Knock on wood.”
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