Anders Bjork called up from Providence for Bruins vs. Maple Leafs clash

Sep 21, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Anders Bjork (10) takes a shot on goal while defended by Philadelphia Flyers center Jordan Weal (40) during the first period at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

After scoring three goals and eight points through seven games with Providence, Bruins winger Anders Bjork is where he should've been from the start of the 2019-20 season, and that's with the Big B's for tonight's game against the Maple Leafs.

Perhaps Boston's best skater not named Charlie Coyle in the preseason, Bjork looked at his most NHL-ready in any of his prior training camps with the organization during the 2019 preseason, and was a dominant force in all roles and with all linemates. There was consistency in his game, and the move to left wing did wonders for Bjork's three-zone game.

"He was bringing lots of energy, he was on top of pucks, he was attacking the net," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Bjork's preseason. "Did a lot of things well. Seemed stronger, sustained shifts better from the first period to the third period."

Bjork's opportunity comes with the Bruins going through their annual early-season injury bug, with David Krejci (upper-body) set to miss his third straight game, Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body) out for the second straight contest, and Karson Kuhlman (lower-body) all on the shelf for Cassidy's squad. Krejci and Nordstrom both missed last Saturday's head-to-head with the Leafs, while Kuhlman suffered an injury on a blocked shot in the first period of Saturday's overtime loss.

He'll skate on the "fourth" line with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner.

In net, the Bruins will give the start to Tuukka Rask.

This will be Rask's 500th start in a Boston uniform, and he's the first Bruins netminder to reach that milestone.

"It's a big milestone," the 32-year-old Rask offered when speaking with reporters after Monday's practice. "I think you play 500 games as a goalie, it's going to take some years. Just goes to show how old I am."

Rask, originally a draft pick of the Maple Leafs, has a 17-7-2 record and .925 save percentage 27 career starts against Toronto.

The Leafs defeated Boston by a 4-3 overtime final this past Saturday, but come into play on the second leg of a back-to-back that began with a Monday overtime loss to the Blue Jackets.

Michael Hutchinson is expected to get the start in the Toronto crease.

Here are the complete lines and pairings for the Bruins...

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie

Danton Heinen - Par Lindholm - David Backes

Anders Bjork - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.