By Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff
COLUMBUS -- In need of putting a little Perrier back in those short pants, the Bruins hope to break out of their 0-2-2 slide tonight when they take on the clinging-to-a-hope-out-west Blue Jackets here at the 'Wide.
Coach Claude Julien is considering giving Michael Ryder a seat in the press box for the first time in the right winger's three-year run with the Bruins. Ryder has played the last 172 regular-season games, a stretch that began in Feb. 2009 when he returned for duty after missing seven games due to a cracked facial bone.
Julien, as noted in an earlier blog item here on boston.com (your leading source of all Bruins news), is toying with the idea of sitting Ryder, veteran of 570 NHL games (playoffs included), and plugging in rookie Tyler Seguin (61 games, 10-11--21) at right wing with the Mark Recchi-Chris Kelly combination.
Julien was clear that he needs more ''accountability'' from his roster--he did not name Ryder directly--with the start of the playoffs now on the horizon.
The Blue Jax, who recently went 8-1-1 to inch back into the playoff picture, have been a borderline-moribund 1-4-3 in the last nine games. They enter tonight's action eight points out of the No. 8, and final, playoff seed (now owned by Calgary) in the west.
Steve Kampfer is back on the Boston blue line, after missing the last four games due to concussion. ''My conditioning's there,'' noted the rookie, ''but it will take a little while to get the hands back.''
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST
Record: Bruins 38-21-9, Blue Jackets, 32-27-9
TV/radio info: NESN (Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley, Naoko Funayama), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Mark Recchi-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid
Steven Kampfer-Dennis Seidenberg
Healthy scratches: Michael Ryder
Storylines: After tonight, only 13 games to go before the Bruins try to secure their first Stanley Cup since 1972....Boston's Deadline Trio of Kaberle- Kelly-Peverley have gone 1-5--6 in their collective 29 games wearing the Eight-Spoked-B...Julien's charges remain in desperate need of getting the power play in synch. They were blanked in eight straight games (0-for-19), before connecting for a 5-on-3 strike Friday night vs. the Islanders, .lifting their success rate to 1-for-23 over nine games....Look for the Jax to roll out a top line of Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Jakub Voracek... Rask was the first of the two goalies to exit the morning workout, but Thomas is the likely starter, given the recent 0-2-2 tailspin. Not out of the question, though, that Julien would give nod to Rask...Shane Hnidy, signed as an extra defenseman late last month, will be cleared to play as of next Tuesday. ''Ready right now,'' he said after the morning skate. ''Feels like I've been ready for an eternity--even longer.''...Julien reiterated that Andrew Ference (undisclosed injury) is close to making it back to the lineup. It's possible he'll suit up Thursday night in Nashville...Tonight's guys in stripes: Referees Tim Kowal and Rob Martell; Linesmen Michael Cormier and Derek Nansen.