BRIGHTON, Mass – The Boston Bruins will be getting one of their walking wounded back to the forward group as it appears Curtis Lazar is going to return to the lineup for the upcoming two-game road trip. The B’s fourth line forward was able to avoid elbow surgery for a “subflexion of the elbow” that would have had him out until playoff-time and instead said he’s healthy and ready to go ahead of a two-game trip against red-hot teams in Florida and Carolina.
“Lazar was practicing full today,” said Cassidy. “I’ve been told if there’s no ill effects from today’s practice when he wakes up tomorrow then he might be available as early as [Wednesday]. That’s good news. I just want to make sure we’re not forcing him in.”
It remains to be seen whether Lazar will play center or slide over to wing to keep 22-year-old Jack Studnicka as the fourth line center, or whether it will be Studnicka or Steen that comes out of the B’s lineup upon his return after they “did their job” in Sunday’s win over San Jose. But Lazar’s expectation is that he’s going to play on Wednesday night after practicing at Warrior Ice Arena and feeling healthy.
“It’s great. Just to get back with the guys and stuff. It’s always fun to be back in the mix,” said Lazar, who injured the elbow when he smashed into the post during the B’s final preseason game against the Washington Capitals. “Spirits are high. Feeling good and ready to go.”
Lazar said he started skating again last week and was “very fortunate” to avoid the surgery.
“You make the best of a bad situation,” said Lazar, who missed just the first four games of the season thanks to a spaced out B’s schedule. “My season could have been gone, but here I am a month later. I’m excited and ready to go, and thankful to be able to contribute to this team.”
In other news, injured winger Craig Smith will remain home and will miss each of the next two games after not playing on Sunday afternoon against the San Jose Sharks. Linus Ullmark gets his third straight start against the Panthers at the BB&T Center on Wednesday night and rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman will get his third start of the year in Thursday night’s tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here are the projected Boston Bruins line combos and D-pairings for the Florida game based on Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Arena: