They may be one player down with Ryan Spooner (lower-body), but the Bruins are getting another healthy player back just in time for tonight’s game against the lowly Arizona Coyotes.
After missing the last three games with an undisclosed injury, Jake DeBrusk will make his return to the Black and Gold lineup. The rookie winger tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in six games – all in the aftermath of his first career healthy scratch – prior to the injury.
Even with Monday’s loss to the Nashville Predators, the Bruins come into tonight’s game winners of six of eight. With Spooner likely going back on injured reserve, GM Don Sweeney won’t have to make a decision on whether to place one of his struggling players on waivers – specifically Matt Beleskey or Frank Vatrano – or send one of the talented youngsters down to Providence.
That decision looms whenever Spooner and Adam McQuaid (fibia) return. For tonight, the Black and Gold are hoping to notch another two points and get closer to a playoff spot as they start their 9-game-in-17-day stretch before Christmas.
Looking for affordable parking and a quick in and out for Bruins-Coyotes tonight? Then park at Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) to take advantage of their $15 rate, while avoiding traffic and construction on Causeway St. Tell them Bruins Daily sent you!
Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 12-9-4 (28 points), Coyotes 7-18-5 (19 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Coyotes projected lines
Brendan Perlini-Derek Stepan-Tobias Reider
Max Domi-Christian Dvorak-Clayton Keller
Jordan Martinook-Brad Richardson-Zac Rinaldo
Anthony Duclair-Dylan Strome-Christian Fisher
Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Jason Demers
Jakob Chychrun-Kevin Connauton
Alex Goligoski-Luke Schenn
– Between the ongoing ownership situation and inserting a younger lineup, the Coyotes will most definitely be in sell mode come trade deadline time. One player in particular that will be coveted is defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who has a $5.5 million cap hit through the end of next season. The 26-year-old Swedish defenseman fits the Bruins need for a left-shot defenseman and would easily slot into a top-four role if Sweeney were to explore this route. Though he’s been on the minus side of the plus/minus statistic for most of his career – mostly due to the team’s depth – Ekman-Larsson and his 266 career points (94 goals, 172 assists) would provide any team with a solid two-way presence.
– Speaking of blue-liners, Torey Krug was given a maintenance day on Wednesday but will be in the lineup this evening. Though his puck-moving prowess benefits the Bruins, his defensive play has been hit or miss for most of the year. Against the Predators, Krug not only turned the puck over at inopportune times but also missed his defensive assignments that led to the Bruins’ early 4-0 deficit. Krug (a team-worst minus-9) doesn’t have to be perfect in his own end, but he needs to be effective to help the team transition from defense to offense. Whether it’s moving the puck out of the zone or disrupting the Coyotes flow in the offensive end, Krug is most certainly hoping to bounce back after Monday’s dissapointing performance.