The Boston Bruins are in Las Vegas for their lone visit to “The Fortress” tonight. The Bruins and Golden Knights will drop the puck shortly after 10:00 pm at T-Mobile Arena in the third of a four-game road trip for the Bruins. David Backes, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday in Arizona, will draw back into the lineup. He’ll play alongside Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly on the fourth line.
The Bruins hope that Backes returning to the lineup will give them an edge against a physical Golden Knights team. This trio certainly knows what their identity will be.
“We’re all simple, hard-nosed type of players. We know pucks are gonna get deep,” Backes told reporters following the morning skate.
Coach Bruce Cassidy is hopeful that Backes can continue his strong play from the preseason and season opener.
“David was good in game one, hopefully he picks up where he left off and plays a solid game,” he told the media Tuesday.
The Bruins will scratch Par Lindholm to make room for Backes. Lindholm played each of the first two games of the season but was largely ineffective. He failed to post a single point and has a Corsi For of 38.5% at five-on-five. He has struggled early in this young season and will get a chance to reset tonight.
The Bruins and Golden Knights are two of a handful of undefeated teams remaining in the NHL. Both enter tonight with a 2-0-0 record and both have toppled some strong opponents. The Golden Knights swept a home-and-home with the San Jose Sharks to start the season, while the Bruins knocked off the Stars and Coyotes on the road.
The first two games were a grind for the Bruins. They are expecting more of the same tonight against a strong Vegas club.
“It’s gonna be a good battle,” Kuraly admitted. “If they want a win, let’s make them beat us and not beat ourselves. I think that’s gonna be our focus.”
The Bruins are expected to ice the following lines in tonight’s tilt.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Chris Wagner – Sean Kuraly – David Backes
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton