By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins are going to stick with what worked in Game 1, as Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that there will be no changes to the Boston lineup for Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Lightning.
That means sticking with Anders Bjork and Nick Ritchie as Charlie Coyle’s wings on the third line, keeping Connor Clifton in over Jeremy Lauzon, and staying with a second line that’s emerging as a potential nightmare matchup for the opposition.
Even with Ondrej Kase still shooting blanks six games into the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with zero goals on 17 shots this postseason. (Kase’s latest Grade-A came on a breakaway chance against the Bolts’ Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 1.)
But Cassidy isn’t concerned with Kase’s lack of results to date given what he’s seen from him in every other facet.
“I think that concern comes in when the team is not winning,” Cassidy suggested. “Everybody puts a little more pressure on themselves. As long as we’re winning and you’re getting your chances, typically you’re comfortable with your game and the fact that you haven’t quite finished, you’ll keep pushing through. Let’s hope that we keep winning and he gets rewarded for his efforts. That’s how I look at it. It certainly hasn’t affected his demeanor. He’s always in a good mood around the rink.
“I don’t think it’s affected his play away from the puck. We’re still getting to know all his details of his game. We haven’t seen him a lot. Work ethic, second effort on the puck continues to be there every day. That’s what we need out of him. Like I said, hopefully he catches a break here and gets one to go for him because he might be streaky like Jake [DeBrusk] when he gets hot.”
Jaroslav Halak will get the call in the Boston net. The 35-year-old Halak is a perfect 4-0 this postseason, and has stopped 93-of-100 shots thrown his way over that four-game sample. He was fantastic in Boston’s Game 1 victory, too, with stops on 35 of the 37 shots thrown his way.
On the Tampa side, second-pairing shutdown defender Ryan McDonagh will miss tonight’s contest with an undisclosed injury.
A minute-eater of the highest order, McDonagh was injured in the third period of Sunday’s Game 1, and did not skate at all on Tuesday, putting him in doubt for tomorrow’s Game 3 as well. And though Lightning head coach Jon Cooper wouldn’t say who would step in for McDonagh, it’ll likely be the veteran Braydon Coburn, who appeared in 40 games for Tampa during the regular season. (Luke Schenn is Tampa’s other option.)
Here are the expected lines and pairings for the B’s…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – 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.