They’ve had miracle wins and impressive victories while battling through injuries the last several weeks, and now the Boston Bruins are set to get some reinforcements.
Following the morning skate, head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters that both Patrice Bergeron (foot) and Torey Krug (upper-body) will ‘most likely’ make their return to the B’s lineup for Sunday’s matchup with the Minnesota Wild. Bergeron joined the team in St. Paul this weekend and will likely skate in his usual top line spot with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak while Krug will likely pair with Adam McQuaid on the back end.
The Bruins will still be without their top defensive pair (Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy), second line wingers (Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk) and versatile power forward (David Backes) as they go up against another Western Conference squad looking to improve their playoff chances. The Wild are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and are coming off an impressive 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators Saturday night.
A Bruins win would put them just two points behind the Eastern Conference leading-Lightning. If we learned anything during the last few weeks, it’s that these types of games won’t come easy, and that should be no different Sunday against a Wild bunch that is 25-7-6 at home in 2017-18.
Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NBCSN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 46-17-10 (102 points), Wild 41-24-8 (90 points)
Location: Xcel Energy Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Ryan Donato-David Krejci-Brian Gionta
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-Tommy Wingels
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Nick Holden-Brandon Carlo
Wild projected lines
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Daniel Winnik-Matt Cullen-Nino Niederreiter
Zack Mitchell-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Ryan Suter-Matthew Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Ryan Murphy
Nick Seller-Nate Prosser
– While the buzz around Sunday’s matchup will center around Bergeron’s and Krug’s return, the Bruins are a step closer to getting more reinforcements, apparently. McAvoy (sprained MCL) and Chara (upper-body) have resumed skating activities back home, while Backes (knee laceration) is back participating in off-ice activities according to Cassidy.
– The Bruins will split goaltending duties the next two games as their busy season-ending slate continues. On Sunday, Tuukka Rask will look to build off his 40-save effort in Dallas two nights ago. Rask seems to be finding his groove again with a shutout of the Bolts and his season-high performance against the Stars but hasn’t had two solid consecutive starts — at least statistics-wise — in about a month. The Wild may be in the bottom of the league in shots on goal per game (averaging 30.1 per contest, good for 26th in the league), but they make up for it with their team shooting percentage of 10.1 percent (7th) and 3.01 goals per game (11th). Rask will certainly need to stay alert against an opportunistic bunch Sunday night.