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Turco prepares to play

Stand-in expects more than sitting

By Ryan Mooney
Globe Correspondent / March 10, 2012
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WILMINGTON - A little more than a week ago, Marty Turco was between the pipes for EC Red Bull Salzburg in the first round of the playoffs against bitter rival Klagenfurt in the Erste Bank Hockey League, Austria’s top league.

The intensity was there - Turco had never had a dead fish thrown at him until he played in Austria - but his 10-year NHL career appeared to be over until the Bruins came calling after Tuukka Rask injured his lower abdomen/groin last Saturday.

“The talent was good [in Austria], it was real good,’’ Turco said on Friday. “It just makes you realize the fine line between making it and not . . . and it just goes to prove why most people think the game is all mental. Obviously, the skill sets and physical attributes are there - the fast-twitch muscles, the coordination, you name it - but there’s a lot of guys like that in the world.’’

The Bruins have not used a goaltender other than Rask or Tim Thomas since Manny Fernandez appeared in 28 games during the 2008-09 season, but that is all but certain to change.

“I know why I’m here, it’s pretty black and white, and I’ve got to get in there,’’ Turco said. “You always plan to play, you always prepare to be ready, and that’s not different right now.’’

Turco took all of the reps during the team’s optional morning workout at Ristuccia Arena Friday.

“We gave him a lot of opportunities to keep working on his timing, and his posture and everything else,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “Today he looked better than yesterday, and he looked better than the day before. So, certainly I like what I’m seeing from him right now.’’

When Turco will make his first NHL start since Feb. 11, 2011, remains to be seen, but for the second weekend in a row the Bruins host a team with a losing record in its last 10 games (Capitals), only to hit the road for a game less than 24 hours later against one of the top teams in the East (Penguins).

Weekend work

This weekend will be a good test for a team that strung together back-to-back wins for the first time since January with a 3-1 decision over the Sabres on Thursday.

“Both teams are playing well,’’ Chris Kelly said of the Capitals and Penguins. “Maybe both teams are kind of in different positions in the standings, but I think everyone wants those points going down the stretch, and I think it’s going to be two hard-fought games.’’

Back at practice

Daniel Paille and Andrew Ference took part in practice, but Julien offered no timetable for their returns.

“I know they’re day-to-day and I haven’t, before coming here, talked to my trainers and seen where they are,’’ he said. “But I would still have to look at where they are tomorrow morning and decide whether we put them out in the warm-up and make that decision or not.’’

Winning move

After Julien bumped Jordan Caron up to the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand against the Sabres, the 21-year-old winger responded by assisting on Johnny Boychuk’s winning goal in the third. Caron has three goals and three assists in his last three games.

“We’re getting a lot of pucks over in the offensive zone, we’re doing a good job on the forecheck, so I think that gives me a lot of opportunities in the corners, and that’s where my game is,’’ Caron said. “Putting pucks in the corner and taking it to the net. I think the way we’ve been playing makes my job easier.’’

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