11 days of rest were enough to get Zdeno Chara back to normal, as both Chara and B’s winger Brad Marchand will suit up for Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against the Blues, according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Missing from the Black and Gold’s Game 4 win over the Hurricanes with an undisclosed injury, the 42-year-old Chara has been a full participant throughout the B’s prep for their fourth-round showdown with the Blues.
Marchand, meanwhile, appeared to ding up his hand in the team’s scrimmage at TD Garden last Thursday night, and was given a maintenance day from Cassidy on Sunday.
With Chara back, John Moore will step back out of the lineup and return to the press box as the B’s healthy scratch on the backend alongside Steven Kampfer.
As for the rest of his team, Cassidy is eagerly awaiting to see which B’s team shows up off the jump tonight at TD Garden.
“Typically, I’m not a guy that gets nervous; it’s more anxious,” said Cassidy. “We’ve been waiting a long time. Are the guys prepared, which sounds like an odd question when you have 11 days, but there’s always things that go through your head. Did we miss something along the way? And then, excited to see what the opposition has, how we’re going to respond.
“So, that’s more what I personally go through, scenarios in your head that play out, but I imagine when we step on the bench and the crowd gets into it, it’s real then. It’s game on. It’s been a lot of talk, but at about 8:20 tonight, it’ll sink in that we’re in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Tuukka Rask gets the start in Boston’s net, while Jordan Binnington gets the call for the Blues.
The B’s enter Game 1 having posted victories in seven straight postseason tilts.
Here are the expected lines and pairings for the Bruins…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – David Backes
Marcus Johansson – Charlie Coyle – Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton