Boston Bruins

Apr 26, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm (27) during the second period against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

A big boost could be making its way to the Boston defense, as Monday’s optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena came with defenseman Hampus Lindholm back on the ice and in a regular sweater.

Knocked out of last week’s Game 2 on a monster hit from Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov, the 28-year-old has missed the last two games with what the team has called an upper-body injury. Lindholm was at the Garden for the games over the weekend, and also took part in workouts over the weekend. But getting back on the ice Monday with some of his teammates is certainly Lindholm’s biggest step yet in terms of a return to action.

But the Bruins still need to see more before they pencil him in for Tuesday’s Game 5 down in Raleigh.

“He’s skating today, and I’ll get an update on him from the medical team [later], so I’m not gonna rule him out, but I’m not putting him in either right now,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy admitted. “I have to hear from the doctors if he’s cleared.”

The next step for Lindholm, who was sporting a tinted visor as part of his return to the ice Monday, would be reporting no ill effects from that skate, a green light from the B’s medical team, and Tuesday’s morning skate. If all that happens without an incident, it would seem that the 6-foot-4 blue liner could be a go for Game 5.

“If he’s cleared, he’s in. If he’s not, then we’ll list him for ‘probable’ for the next game,” Cassidy offered. “But the fact that he’s out there skating is always a positive sign.”

Lindholm, acquired from Anaheim prior to the 2022 trade deadline, totaled five assists and a plus-10 rating, along with 15 hits and 15 blocks shots, during his 10-game regular season sample with the Bruins, and has averaged 18:25 of time on ice per game during his two playoff games with the Bruins.

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