The reeling Bruins will make yet another change to their lineup in an effort to find some scoring help, with Oskar Steen set to make his NHL debut on the right side of a line with Charlie Coyle and Nick Ritchie in a Tuesday rematch with the Penguins.
“He’s been a center and right wing [in his career], a little more center this year but has played right wing,” Cassidy said of the 5-foot-9 Steen. “Got a good shot. We’re gonna insert him in there for now and see how it goes.”
A chippy-but-skilled forward, Steen is with the Bruins after a 2021 Providence start that’s included three goals and eight points in 12 games this season.
Drafted by the Bruins with a sixth-round pick in 2016, Steen totaled 12 goals and 15 points in 16 games for Bjorkloven IF (Sweden) before reporting to North America this season, and has 10 goals and 31 points in 72 total games with the P-Bruins since coming to the United States in 2019.
Cassidy did note that there’s a possibility that Steen will move to center if the wing doesn’t work out for him, but it’s clear that it’s where they hope he thrives given the year-long struggle to get much of anything below David Pastrnak.
“But [the right side] has been a challenge all year,” Cassidy admitted. “So the ask from us is to go in there, play that spot, play well, do what you do best. He does shoot the puck well and hopefully keep everyone else in place.”
With Steen in, Anders Bjork will sit as a scratch Tuesday night.
And Steen will not be the only Bruin making his debut tonight, as Daniel Vladar will get the call in the B’s net. The 6-foot-5 Vladar has served as Jaroslav Halak’s backup for the last four games, and comes into play with a 2-2-1 record and .923 save percentage in five games with the P-Bruins this season.
The Penguins will counter with Casey DeSmith.
The Bruins are trying to overcome what is now a seven-game losing streak on Pittsburgh ice, with their last road win over the Pens coming all the way back in Dec. 2015.
Here’s the complete lines and pairings the B’s are expected to roll out tonight…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Oskar Steen
Trent Frederic – Sean Kuraly – Karson Kuhlman
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril – Connor Clifton
Jarred Tinordi – Steven Kampfer