Tuukka Rask will be back in goal for the Bruins on Thursday night as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden. David Backes, however, will sit out for Thursday as well as the next two games as he serves his three-game suspension.
Per NHL rules, a suspended player can only appeal if the ban is for six or more games. It’s the same reason that Brad Marchand couldn’t appeal his five-game suspension earlier in the season. Trade deadline acquisition Tommy Wingels will slide into the lineup in Backes’ absence.
Defenseman Nick Holden will also sit out on Thursday as Adam McQuaid takes his place. Here’s what else to know about the Bruins ahead of Thursday’s game:
— Brad Marchand will play on Thursday, but missed practice at the Garden due to what head coach Bruce Cassidy termed a “previous appointment that ran late.”
— David Backes took Marchand’s place on the first line with Riley Nash and David Pastrnak. Wingels will center Danton Heinen and Brian Gionta on the third line. The second and fourth lines will be at full strength on Thursday.
— The Flyers enter Thursday’s game on a four-game losing streak, including a 7-6 (!) shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last Saturday. Before that, they’d won 10 of 11. Philly also recently lost to the Penguins and Panthers, so they’re obviously on a tough stretch of competition as of late. Even with the B’s undermanned, it won’t get much easier for them on Thursday.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.