Boston Bruins

Sep 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Cameron Hughes (53) controls the puck between Washington Capitals defenseman Colby Williams (38) and forward Beck Malenstyn (47) during the third period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

With the Bruins in search of a strong ‘energy’ fit with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner, the team has summoned Cameron Hughes up from Providence for his NHL debut Monday night against the Penguins.

“Energy guy, good motor,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of the 23-year-old Hughes. “Should be able to help us on the penalty kill. That’s an area that we’re looking to support with certain guys out. He’ll be a fit with Kuraly and Wagner.

“Think [Kuraly-Wagner] will be a good line for him to start with; simple, straight-line game.”

Hughes comes to the Big B’s with two goals, six points, and 26 shots in 13 games with the P-Bruins this season, and after sticking around Boston’s NHL training camp for an extended stretch last month.

A sixth-round pick of the Bruins back in 2015, Hughes notched 13 goals and 28 points in 52 games with Providence a year ago, and plays the kind of game that easily fits into the Black and Gold’s bottom-six forward grouping, according to Cassidy.

“He’s just a guy that will get on pucks and give you what he’s got,” said Cassidy. “He should add to whatever line he’s on. He’ll be a good fit in that bottom-six role where it’s second effort forecheck chances as much as rush chances.”

Monday’s game will also see a return to the lineup for Bruins winger Brett Ritchie.

Ritchie, who has two goals and three points in 11 games this season, missed Saturday’s win over the Senators due to an infected cut, but will rejoin the lineup to the right of Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle on Boston’s third line.

David Backes, meanwhile, will remain out of action for the Bruins. It’s not all bad on the Backes front, however, as Cassidy noted that the 35-year-old was feeling better on Monday. Nevertheless, the Bruins have ruled him out for tonight and tomorrow. And with Hughes in Boston, the team returned Peter Cehlarik down to Providence.

On the backend, Connor Clifton will jump back in the lineup for Steven Kampfer.

In net, the Bruins will give the start to Jaroslav Halak. Making his first start in over a week, Halak will take to the ice having surrendered four goals on 29 shots in his last outing, and is a solid 3-1-1 on the year with a .919 save percentage.

The Penguins will counter with Matt Murray. The 6-foot-4 Murray is off to a great start for Pittsburgh, with a 7-3-1 record and .924 save percentage this season. Murray has a 4-2-0 record and .932 save percentage in six career games against the B’s.

This will be the first of three head-to-heads between the Bruins and Penguins this year. Pittsburgh took last year’s season series two games to one, but come in Boston with losses in six straight games on TD Garden ice.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 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.