The Boston Bruins (20-4-6, 46 points) got some great injury updates on Monday morning. Veteran center Patrice Bergeron will return to action as the Bruins visit the Ottawa Senators (12-17-1, 25 points). This is the third of four meetings on the season between the divisional opponents.
Puck drop is at 7:30 pm on NESN.
The Bruins saw their 13 game point streak come to an end on Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche defeated them by a final score of 4-1. It was just the fourth regulation loss of the season for the Bruins. It was their second against the Avalanche. “That’s a losing game,” Brad Marchand told the team’s official website.
“You can’t continue to get down by a couple goals, especially with really good teams. Teams like that really know how to keep a lead, and regardless of how many times we’ve come back in the past, eventually it’s going to catch up to us like it did tonight,” Marchand continued.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy agreed with his veteran’s sentiments. “We have one of the best records in the league, but I don’t care – it’s not a switch you can just turn on. There’s too much parody in this league, and you’re playing one of what I think is one of the elite teams out West as well…I thought we would come out a little cleaner than we did.”
The Bruins will certainly be looking for a better start tonight in Ottawa.
Finally, some good updates for the Bruins on the injury front. Cassidy confirmed this morning that Patrice Bergeron will return to the lineup. This comes after Brett Ritchie returned on Saturday night. Bergeron is expected to slide right back into his normal spot, centering David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.
As a result of Bergeron’s return, Par Lindholm is expected to be taken out of the lineup. Bergeron has not played since November 23rd against Minnesota as he deals with a lower body injury. The veteran, and key cog in Boston’s attack, has 24 points (8 g, 16 a) in 21 games played this season.
The native of Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec has averaged 18:50 time-on-ice per game this season. He has a rock solid 55.7% Corsi For at five-on-five this season. Finishing third in Selke voting in each of the last two seasons, Bergeron should help a Bruins team that has surrendered eight goals in its last two games.
Senators Continue To Learn
The Bruins and Senators are in completely different phases right now. While the Bruins hope to compete for a Stanley Cup in June, the Senators are in the midst of a slow and steady rebuild. They won’t have their veteran goaltender to help cover up some of the mistakes that rebuilding teams make tonight. Craig Anderson has been placed on injured reserve after suffering an injury on Saturday.
Anderson is expected to miss “about a week”.
DJ Smith continues to figure out what exactly he has in his lineup. As part of the rebuild, Smith is being tasked with developing young talent. Chief among that talent is Logan Brown, who has seen numerous different roles through the first 30 games. “We want to play him in important positions and we continue to play him on the power play where he excels,” Smith said regarding Brown.
“We don’t want him playing in that 4th line role, not to say he can’t do it for a game or two to try and fight his way back to one of those other spots though.”
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Joakim Nordstrom – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
John Moore – Matt Grzelcyk
Lineups are subject to change and based off of morning skate in Ottawa. Rask is expected to start after Halak got the nod on Saturday night. Lindholm and David Backes are the likely scratches up front, while Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn still remain on IR. Updates to the Bruins lines to follow.
Ottawa Senators Lines
Brady Tkachuk – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Connor Brown
Vladislav Namestnikov – Chris Tierney – Anthony Duclair
Tyler Ennis – Artem Anisimov – Colin White
Nick Paul – Logan Brown – Jonathan Davidsson
Thomas Chabot – Dylan DeMelo
Mark Borowiecki – Nikita Zaitsev
Ron Hainsey – Cody Goloubef