By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
That ’50-50′ chance for Game 4 didn’t tilt David Pastrnak’s way on Monday, as the Bruins will have to soldier on without their top-line wing for the third straight game, according to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
“Pasta is not available,” Cassidy said after Monday’s morning skate.
And so Pastrnak’s “unfit to participate” stretch rolls on, and with the Bruins sticking with Anders Bjork in Pastrnak’s spot on Boston’s top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Even after Bjork took three penalties, including a disastrous offensive-zone tripping with the B’s absolutely rolling in the third period, in just 7:05 of time on ice.
“We have to eliminate that,” Cassidy said of Bjork’s penalty problems. “You can’t take your linemates out of the game and force them to kill penalties. Obviously, you’re going to take a penalty here or there. But we discussed that. He’s committed, he gets it, a young guy that we feel will help us. He certainly had some good looks the first few games. Didn’t finish them. So, that’s the way we’re going to start it.
“We’re just asking him to play well, get on pucks, have a good stick.”
Bjork is still looking for his first point in the Toronto bubble, with a 0-0-0 line despite nine shots in six games.
The rest of the lineup is expected to remain the same, too, meaning that Par Lindholm and Jack Studnicka will remain in the lineup over Karson Kuhlman and Nick Ritchie, while Connor Clifton will stay in over Jeremy Lauzon.
On the Carolina side, Andrei Svechnikov has been ruled out. The 20-year-old Svechnikov, who has four goals and seven points in six games this postseason, was injured in the third period of Saturday’s contest when he fell awkwardly while jostling with Zdeno Chara for position in front of the Boston net.
In net, and with Tuukka Rask opted out, the Bruins will stick with Jaroslav Halak as the team’s starter. The 35-year-old Halak stopped 29-of-30 shots faced in Game 3.
It’ll be interesting to see who Carolina counters with down 2-1; Petr Mrazek has been the team’s starter, but he’s 0-2 in this series (but with a .923 save percentage), while James Reimer won his only start with a 33-of-35 effort.
The Bruins are 4-3 in Game 4s under Cassidy.
Here are the complete lines and pairings for tonight’s contest…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Anders Bjork
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Sean Kuraly – Charlie Coyle – Jack Studnicka
Joakim Nordstrom – Par Lindholm – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
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.