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Claude Julien: Rich Peverley's return 'sooner rather than later'

Posted by Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff  March 21, 2012 02:46 PM

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SAN JOSE -- The Bruins departed Hanscom Field in Bedford early Wednesday morning and hit the ice at 5 p.m. (ET) here at HP Pavillion to get their legs back for Thursday night's visit with the slumping Sharks (3-4-3 in last 10 games).

Update: Practice lasted 40 minutes. All hands were on deck. Two lines skated with a fourth (extra) forward. Injured right winger Rich Peverley worked in with the Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston trio. Trent Whitfield rode with the Dan Paille-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton combination. Based on the workout, it looks like Mike Mottau and Joe Corvo will be the backline scratches vs. the Sharks.

Coach Claude Julien said he ''predicts'' Peverley's return will come ''sooner rather than later'', but it won't be vs. the Sharks, and it might not be on this trip.

The Bruins will play three games in four nights in the Golden State. They take on the LA Kings Saturday night at the Staples Center and wrap up the trip Sunday night against the Ducks at the Honda Center. They are back at the Garden Tuesday night to face the Bolts.

With 72 games logged, the Bruins have 10 games remaining before the start of the playoffs. As of Wednesday morning, five of their remaining opponents, including the Sharks and Ducks, were without postseason berths.

The Bruins had Tuesday off, following their 8-0 shellacking of the Leafs Monday night at the Garden. They have now won two in a row for only the second time since mid-January. They also scored the first goal in their last two games (vs. Flyers and Leafs), and averaged 53:28 in lead time -- two categories in which they've struggled greatly the last two-plus months.

The Bruins need 13 points (equivalent of 6 wins, 1 OTL) to finish the season with 100 points. They finished with more than 100 points in two of the last three seasons, including 103 in 2010-11. They have averaged 101 points per season during Julien's four-year tour as bench boss.

Update: Julien on the prospect of reaching the 100-point plateau: ''It would be nice to get to triple digits, but it's not as much about 100 points as it is about having to play our best games at an important time on the schedule.''

Deadline pickup Rolston paced the whitewash of the Leafs, collecting a goal and three assists. Tim Thomas is the likely starter here and in LA, with Marty Turco possibly to make his second start with the Bruins Sunday night in Anaheim.

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