With their season on line Thursday night at TD Garden, the Bruins will get at least one boost from the backend, with Hampus Lindholm set to return to action after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.
Injured on a hit by Andrei Svechnikov in the second period of Game 2, Lindholm was in attendance for Game 3 at TD Garden, and worked out on his own and with the team during their time in Boston. There was even some hope that Lindholm was going to be able to rejoin the lineup for Game 5 in Carolina after skating with teammates Monday, but the 6-foot-4 defender ultimately didn’t feel well enough to travel down to Carolina with the team.
Still, a three-game absence is probably best case scenario given how Lindholm looked staggering off the ice in Raleigh.
“It was pretty quick, actually,” Lindholm, who did not want to comment on whether or not he felt the hit was dirty or clean, said of his recovery. “Luckily, I’m in good enough shape to take it in a good way and luckily I didn’t take it worse.”
The Bruins expect to put Lindholm right back to the left of Charlie McAvoy, fresh off a return to action himself, on the Black and Gold’s top pairing. Lindholm 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 this postseason.
“It’s playoffs. This is what you work for, and this is one of those games you play at home here, so it’s going to be fun to go out there and have the crowd behind us,” said Lindholm.