It’s been quite an eventful 48 hours for the Boston Bruins. First came their pivotal win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to close out their four-game road trip. Then they returned home and signed Ryan Donato to an entry-level contract.
All eyes will be on Donato as the Olympian and three-year Harvard standout will make his Black and Gold debut Monday night against a red-hot Blue Jackets squad that comes into TD Garden on a seven-game winning streak. The 2014 second round pick (54th overall) will slot on the third line with Noel Acciari and fellow Team USA teammate Brian Gionta and top power-play unit with Brad Marchand, Rick Nash, David Pastrnak and Torey Krug.
Donato is the latest Bruin to be featured in the ‘next man up’ phase as they continue to battle the injury bug. But the B’s are getting some encouraging news in regards to one of those injured players. Scroll down to the storylines for the latest injury update.
Bruins fans: are you heading over to TD Garden for Ryan Donato’s debut and in need of a place to park your car? Then head over Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) — a short walk to and from the Garden — and avoid the traffic and construction on Causeway St. Mention Bruins Daily at the entrance for a prepaid rate of $12 — $3 less than the usual game night price!
Gametime: 7 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 45-17-8 (98 points), Blue Jackets 39-28-5 (83 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Riley Nash-David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen-David Krejci-Rick Nash
Ryan Donato-Noel Acciari-Brian Gionta
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Tommy Wingels
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Nick Holden-Adam McQuaid
Blue Jackets projected lines
Artemi Panarin-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Cam Atkinson
Sonny Milano-Nick Foligno-Oliver Bjorkstrand
Boone Jenner-Alex Wennberg-Thomas Vanek
Matt Calvert-Mark Letestu-Brandon Dubinsky
Zach Werenski-Jack Johnson
Ian Cole-David Savard
Ryan Murray-Markus Nutivaara
Bruins-Blue Jackets storylines
– They may be back in Boston briefly, but the Bruins got the best news possible before flying to St. Louis to begin another four-game road trip. Four-time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron, who missed the last 11 games with a foot injury, took part in team activities for the first time since his last appearance on Feb. 25 in Buffalo. Bergeron and captain Zdeno Chara (upper-body) will miss the next two games, but are both listed as day to day according to head coach Bruce Cassidy. For Bergeron, at least that “light at the end of the tunnel” is that much closer.
– The Bruins aren’t the only team benefitting from their trade deadline acquisitions. Thomas Vanek — after a slow start — Ian Cole and Mark Letestu are also fitting in nicely in their brief stint with the Blue Jackets. The perennial Bruins killer Vanek has points in four of his last five games after being held scoreless in his first four with his new squad, while the two-time Stanley Cup champion Cole is a stable stay-at-home option on their blueline and the veteran Letestu gives the team some added depth on their bottom-six. If nothing else, this is a different looking team from the one that laid an egg in their 7-2 loss to the Bruins back on Dec. 18.