Boston Bruins

Back in Boston practicing on their own, defenseman Hampus Lindholm and winger David Pastrnak have progressed enough to the point where the Bruins now have a date (or dates) in mind in regards to their long-awaited return to action.

“Both guys are feeling better and possibly both could be in the lineup by Sunday, if not Tuesday,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said following Thursday’s morning skate. “They could play Sunday [or] Tuesday, we’re looking at, but probably not Saturday. That’s the timeline I was given this morning.”

Sunday will see the Bruins in Montreal and on the second leg of a back-to-back following Saturday’s home showdown with the Rangers, while Tuesday’s showdown will feature a home head-to-head with the East-best Panthers.

It almost goes without saying that the Bruins would probably prefer to get them back in against a ‘softer’ opponent like the Canadiens compared to a potential playoff opponent such as the Rangers or Panthers. But the Bruins also made it clear that they think both Lindholm and Pastrnak need to get games in before the playoffs start.

“I think they both need [games], personally,” Cassidy admitted. “I think it’s a tough time of year, and to be out stretching on three weeks now. They’re both good players and they’ll pick it up quicker than a guy being out being longer term, but I still think it helps to play.”

Pastrnak, who has been dealing with an apparent core issue since a Mar. 18 game in Winnipeg, has been out of action for the last seven games after appearing to aggravate the injury in a tie-up with the Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov on Apr. 4. Lindholm, meanwhile, has been out with a lower-body injury suffered in a collision with Detroit’s Pius Suter on Apr. 5.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark, meanwhile, remains on track for a weekend return, as Cassidy noted Wednesday.

The Bruins will wrap up their quick two-game road swing tonight in Pittsburgh.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. 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.