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BRUINS NOTEBOOK

Zamuner a quick healer

Forward is shooting for return next week

When forward Rob Zamuner suffered a torn hamstring Oct. 2 during an exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings, he was expected to miss 4-6 weeks. It appears the versatile player will be returning earlier rather than later.

He began skating again Monday and practiced with his teammates during their morning skate yesterday. He'll practice this morning at the Ristuccia Center and hopes to be back in the lineup next week.

"At the beginning, I couldn't really do too much," said Zamuner, whose rehabilitation was overseen by strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. "Then we went to the pool and worked out there. Then I did exercises with [physical therapist] Scott Waugh, working with the [exercise] ball and bands. They were really good. They changed things up. Sometimes it can be a grind but they were really creative with it and they made it fun."

He gradually increased his on-ice workload and is now able to practice at full speed.

"It felt good," he said of his skate yesterday with his teammates for the first time since the injury. "The first day you have so much adrenaline. I'll practice with the team and as we go along, I have to think next week is a possibility."

He said he isn't worried about coming back too soon. Yesterday marked three weeks since the injury.

"I was lucky, I healed quickly," he said. "We've tested it. I think I'll know better when I actually skate with the guys the next couple of days."

He said missing time, especially the just-completed two-week road trip, made him appreciate his job even more.

"It's funny," he said. "When you've been away from the game and then you come back, you don't realize, sometimes practice can be [a grind] but when you come back, skating is fun."

Shut down

Last night's 2-0 loss to Carolina jilted some scoring streaks. Joe Thornton had a five-game assist streak (seven helpers in that span) snapped . . . Ditto for Brian Rolston's four-game goal streak (five goals and one assist) . . . Rookie forward Patrice Bergeron was riding a four-game assist streak (five assists, one goal). Remarkably, Bergeron is just 2 points shy of the team scoring lead and he plays more than eight minutes fewer than the leader, Thornton . . . The club recalled center Sergei Zinovjev yesterday but he was not in the lineup last night. However, he will get a chance. "We'll see how he does," said general manager Mike O'Connell, who is very high on the young prospect . . . Both defenseman Milan Jurcina, who has yet to get into an NHL game, and left wing Martin Samuelsson, who played three games but was a healthy scratch for the next four, were assigned to Providence . . . The Bruins depart today and will face the Stanley Cup-champion New Jersey Devils tomorrow at the Meadowlands for the second time this season. The clubs skated to a 3-3 tie on opening night at the FleetCenter Oct. 8.

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