Thursday start takes Bruins by surprise

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ upcoming second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens gives new meaning to changing on the fly.

Until late Tuesday night, the Bruins thought this series would start either Friday or Saturday, but the league announced Game 1 would be played Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the team’s practice on Wednesday that he had to tweak his schedule a bit in order to prepare properly for the Canadiens.

“We had to make some adjustments,” Julien said. “Obviously, at first, it looked more like a Friday, maybe Saturday. There was a lot of that talk, but there was never any talk of Thursday. So you plan accordingly, and then you find out [Tuesday] night that you got to kind of move a little quicker than expected, so that’s part of making adjustments as you go along.”

At Wednesday’s practice, forward Daniel Paille -- who missed the first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings with a head injury -- was back on the Bruins’ energy line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Jordan Caron was the extra forward.

The third line remains Justin Florek, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Brad Marchand, who missed practice on Tuesday, was back on his line Wednesday with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith. The top line was intact, featuring Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla.

The Bruins worked on battle drills Wednesday morning, including net-front presence and forechecking. Afterward, players were anxious for the puck to drop on the series.

“The playoffs are always a new season,” said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. “You never know who you’re going to face, and if you want to be the champion you have to beat everybody. We’re focused on a series at a time, and now it’s Montreal and we’re focused on them and trying to get our game where it needs to be in order to advance.”