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Tuesday, March 4, 2014
'Minor issue' sidelines Eriksson

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Bruins forward Loui Eriksson is dealing with a “minor issue” and will not be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, according to coach Claude Julien.

Julien wouldn't elaborate on the issue, but said Eriksson is expected back for Thursday’s game.

Bruins forward Jordan Caron will take Eriksson's place on the team’s third line, along with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg.

Eriksson, who recently returned from the Olympics after helping Sweden to a silver medal, has played all three games for the Bruins since returning from the break. He did not participate in the team’s morning skate Tuesday, but was in the training room receiving treatment.

Eriksson has missed 20 games this season due to a pair of concussions earlier in the season, and his level of play was rising prior to the Olympic break. He continued that resurgence in Sochi, and didn’t miss a beat when he returned.

He has one goal and six assists for seven points in his last 10 games for the Bruins.

The team’s third line has played well, too, but Julien has been especially impressed with Eriksson’s play.

“Everything that we expected from him,” Julien said. “Unfortunately he wasn’t able to show it at the beginning of the year because of the concussions. He’s starting to showcase the type of player that we knew we were getting. He’s making some smart plays.

Julien added, “He’s just starting to come around now. Everything about his game is there, and probably more than anything else is his hockey sense, his vision is pretty impressive.”

Caron has been a healthy scratch for the majority of this season and has played only 25 games.

“He’s worked hard,” Julien said. “His speed in practice is the same as everybody else. He’s going to go out there, compete hard and do what he does normally, and that’s just be strong along the walls, be dependable and go out there and play that kind of game. We’re not expecting him to be a savior, but just to be a good player for us would be a bonus.”