The middle game of a three-game set in Buffalo will come with a slight lineup tweak for the Bruins, with Steven Kampfer set to rejoin the B’s lineup on the right side of the Black and Gold’s third defensive pairing.
According to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, Kampfer has been playing through a minor injury, and was held out of Tuesday’s contest in Buffalo as a result of that ailment. The Bruins also remain without right-shot defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller, as well as lefty Jarred Tinordi, so Kampfer’s absence on Tuesday forced the Bruins to ice a third pairing featuring Jeremy Lauzon to the left of Jakub Zboril. The pairing was a bit of an adventure to say the least, so to get Kampfer back, even if it’s at slightly less than 100 percent, is a likely welcomed sight for Cassidy’s defense.
The veteran Kampfer has one goal, one assist, 17 hits, and 18 blocked shots in 16 appearances this season.
Cassidy’s team is expected to get another boost on Friday, too, with Kevan Miller expected to make his return to action.
“We looked at [Friday] versus [Thursday] and we’ll go from there,” said Cassidy. “Hopefully we’re able to do that. [Miller] was out on the ice this morning getting a little work. Should be good to go tomorrow.”
Thursday will mark Miller’s fifth straight absence due to an undisclosed injury.
The only other change will come in net with Jeremy Swayman set to make the start in the Boston crease.
The 22-year-old Swayman is coming off a 25-save shutout over the Islanders last Friday, and comes into tonight’s contest with a 4-1-0 record and .938 save percentage on the season. Swayman has made one career start against Buffalo so far, and stopped 21-of-23 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Sabres back on Apr. 13.
The Bruins are also riding a nine-game winning streak over the Sabres dating back to Dec. 2018. That’s the longest winning streak in the history of this head-to-head between the Bruins and Sabres, which dates all the way back to 1970.
Here’s the expected lineup for tonight’s contest…
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall – David Krejci – Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie – Charlie Coyle – Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly – Curtis Lazar – Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Connor Clifton
Jeremy Lauzon – Steven Kampfer