It's officially Donato Time.
Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed to reporters on Friday morning that rookie forward Ryan Donato will get his second taste of playoff action on Friday night, when the B's take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in a crucial Game 4 at TD Garden.
Donato Time: Activated.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) May 4, 2018
The Bruins didn't run their typical line rushes on Friday, so it's unclear where Donato will fit into the lineup or who will come out. Cassidy added that Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk are both game-time decisions, but he believes both will play.
Donato played 9:24 of ice time in Game 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, registering three shots on goal without a point. He also posted a minus-1 rating.
Cassidy had previously hinted that he would insert Donato into the Game 4 lineup when expressing disappointment with the Bruins' third line.
Cassidy says he's concerned with poor play of third line. Says they have some productive players that are currently not playing. #DonatoWatch ????????????????
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) May 3, 2018
Donato previously scored five goals and four assists in 12 points for the Bruins after getting a late-season call-up to the NHL. Cassidy ostensibly hopes that former Harvard Crimson and Team USA forward's booming shot can spark the Bruins' stagnant offense and help them tie the series, which the Lightning lead 2-1.
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