Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Bjugstad back in Gophers' lineup, so is Joe Miller on Senior Night

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey, Pregame Updated: March 3, 2012 - 6:02 PM

After missing his first Gophers game of the season because of an injury, Nick Bjugstad is back in the Gophers' lineup in his familiar spot. He is centering the first line, skating in between Kyle Rau and Zach Budish.

Freshman Travis Boyd, meantime, goes from first line center to the bench. Quite the demotion.

The other new player in the lineup for the Gophers is Joe Miller, a senior right wing. He is also an assistant captain. he has played only nine game this season and had one goal. But this is Senior Night and Miller plays with energy, something the Gophers had a shortage of on Friday.

Miller replaces freshman Seth Ambroz who is out.

The Gophers' lineup:

1st line/ Kyle Rau-Nick Bjugstad-Zach Budish ... Remember one play from Friday vividly. Boyd and Budish were on a rush and got their timing a little confused. Offsides was called. Budish looked visibly perturbed. Of course, he never plays with Boyd. So the fact they were not in sync was understandable.

2nd line/ Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Jake Hansen ... Hansen said the forwards were awful after Friday's game. He took the lost hard, promised a better effort by everyone

3rd line/ Nate Condon-Taylor Matson-Nico Sacchetti ... Sacchetti scored the only Gophers goal on Friday, on a nice redirect of a point shot by D-man Jake Parenteau. It came with just over a minute left. Too late.

4th line/ Tom Serratore-Nick Larson-Joe Miller ... Second game back for Larson after being out six weeks with a broken wrist. Should be sharper.

D-pairs

1st/ Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl ... Helgeson got posterized by Wisconsin's Mark Zengerle who turned him inside out on his power play goal.

2nd/ Ben Marshall-Mark Alt ... Alt was a minus-2 on Friday

3rd/ Jake Parenteau-Nate Schmidt ... Schmidt had  only one chance to run the power play on Friday. Gophers need more pp chances than that

Goalie

Kent Patterson ... Patterson will start his 58 consecutive game. Only two Gophers goalies have started more game in a row. He should catch Robb Stauber -- 61 starts in a row -- in the playoffs

THREE KEYS TO VICTORY

1. Be much more aggressive. Not with hits, with rushes to the net. The Gophers need to force the Badgers to commit more penalties. Their penalty kill is the worst in the WCHA, just over 75 percent, but the Gophers only saw it for two minute son Friday.

2. Shadow No. 9. Please know where he is on the ice. Sophomore center Mark Zengerle had a four-point night against the Gophers: three assists and one goal. His linemates, Tyler Barnes and Ryan Little, also had a goal. That line has to be stopped or at least slowed down.

3. Play with confidence. If the Badgers score first, retaliate. Don't fall behind 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0 and let the game slip away. The Gophers have more talent. They need to match the Badgers' intensity and not get discouraged.

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