For the second time in less than a week, the Boston Bruins (21-11-6, 48 pts, .632%) will face the first-place Washington Capitals (26-11-4, 56 pts, .683%). After beating the Capitals 4-2 Thursday in Washington DC behind a 40-save effort from rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman, the B’s welcome back their bitter rival to TD Garden. For the Caps, this will also be their first visit since the infamous Tom Wilson hit Brandon Carlo and a game in which the Bruins exacted Physical revenge and revenge on the scoreboard for their fallen teammate in a 5-1 win.
The Bruins come in trying to bounce bask from a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers (19-15-6, 44 pts, .550%) and will have to do so with a depleted blueline. As my partner-in-crime, Joe Haggerty reported earlier on Sunday, the Boston Bruins will be playing without defensemen Brandon Carlo (upper-body), Kevan Miller (load management), Charlie McAvoy (upper-body), and Matt Grzelcyk (upper body). John Moore already underwent season-ending hip surgery. That means the likes of rookies Jack Achan and Jeremy Lauzon will be leaned on heavily, so heavily that they will actually be the top D pairing for the Boston bruins Sunday. Rookie Jakub Zboril and veteran Steven Kampfer will be the second airing for head coach Bruce Cassidy and Jarred Tinordi and Connor Clifton will be the third pairing.
–Carlo was recently downgraded from day-to-day to week-to-week with his upper-body injury and isn’t expected to return to game action for the Boston Bruins anytime soon. Carlo had just returned on March 30, from a month-long absence due to a concussion suffered after a Tom Wilson headshot. The good news is that Carlo’s current upper-body injury isn’t related to the concussion, which could have been very problematic. Boston Bruins winger Ondrej Kase remains on IR with an upper-body injury. While Kase has been skating, his return date is not known.
–Trent Frederic is sick (not COVID-related) and is questionable for tonight’s game against the Capitals after missing the last two games.
–Since Cassidy flip-flopped Craig Smith and David Pastrnak back on April 2, Smith, the first-year bruin has finally found his niche. After notching two assists in the loss to Philly on Saturday, Smith now has one goal and seven assists while skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the team’s top line. Bergeron has six goals and one assist with Smith riding shotgun on the right while Marchand has been absolutely on fire with five goals and six assists in five games.
— Washington Capitals goalie Henrik Lundqvist announced Sunday that he will not attempt a comeback this season after open-heart surgery back in January.
Right after getting back on the ice after surgery, I made it my “stretch goal” to join @Capitals for the end of the season. Training has been going really well and I’ve been feeling good – but my heart isn’t quite ready.
— Henrik Lundqvist (@hlundqvist35) April 11, 2021
We know your heart is always ready symbolically King! best of luck and good health!
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron- Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie- David Krejci- David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk- Charlie Coyle- Karson Kuhlman
Anton Blidh- Sean Kuraly- Chris Wagner
Jeremy Lauzon – Jack Achan
Jakub Zboril – Steven Kampfer
Jarred Tinordi– Connor Clifton
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – TJ Oshie
Jakub Vrana – Lars Eller – Daniel Carr
Conor Sheary – Nicklas Backstrom – Tom Wilson
Carl Hagelin – Nic Dowd – Garnet Hathaway
Brenden Dillon – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Justin Schultz
Zdeno Chara – Nick Jensen