By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A must-win for the Bruins will go without fourth-line center Sean Kuraly and third-line wing Nick Ritchie, as the two game-time decisions entering Monday’s Game 5 will not suit up against the Lightning.
They’ll be joined by fourth-line wing Chris Wagner, who was ruled out of Monday’s contest after missing Sunday’s skate and not skating in the third period of the Black and Gold’s Game 4 loss.
Without these three available, Anders Bjork and Jack Studnicka will rejoin the mix as Charlie Coyle’s wingers, while Karson Kuhlman will remain in the Boston lineup and skate on a fourth line with Joakim Nordstrom and Par Lindholm.
No matter the lineup, the Bruins will simply look to survive another day, and will rely on their experience to give them that chance.
“We were in this building last year in the same dressing room we were in tonight facing a Game 6 against the Leafs that we had to win or we were done,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the morning skate. “I think our guys overcame an early deficit and played really well. They’ve been through it. They know what it takes. Are they capable of delivering tonight? It’s going to take everybody. But yes, our guys have been there and have overcome in the past.
“Every year is a different year, different animal, different group of people in the room, different circumstances and clearly this year is no different. I don’t think our guys are afraid of the moment at all tonight. The question becomes, are we going to execute well enough, better than Tampa? Have more will than Tampa and do enough to win.”
That task got a little bit harder following the pregame warmup, however, as Tampa Bay defenseman Ryan McDonagh will return to play for tonight’s knockout Game 5 after missing the previous three games.
The Bruins have an 0-23 all-time series record when trailing a series 3-1.
Here are the complete lines and pairings for the Bruins…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Ondrej Kase
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Jack Studnicka
Joakim Nordstrom – Par Lindholm – Karson Kuhlman
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.