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Foligno Set For Boston Bruins Return, Steen Comes Out

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Boston Bruins

After it first appeared that Boston Bruins forward Nick Foligno might be done for the year with a nasty-looking leg injury, it looks like the 34-year-old will be back in the lineup on Thursday night against the Washington Capitals.

Foligno will need to give the final green light after taking pregame warm-ups on Thursday, but the plan is to remove Oskar Steen from the lineup temporarily while inserting the rugged veteran back into the third line with Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk.

Foligno had returned to skating in the last few days and took part in Thursday’s optional morning skate prior to tonight’s tilt.

The third line was probably Boston’s worst (a combined one shot on net and on the ice for three goals against) in Tuesday night’s blowout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, so changing things up with that combination wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

“It’s our intention to play him. [Foligno] just needs to get through warmup and give us the green-light and that I think it’s just a formality now,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy of the big winger, who has missed the last five games with a lower body injury. “We had a few different candidates we discussed [for a healthy scratch], but with Oskar like everybody he wasn’t at his best the other night. But it was a tough decision. It’s the easiest switch for [Foligno] to just go in and play the right side with Coyle. Probably okay for Oskar to go upstairs and watch for a game…sort of reset. I don’t expect it to be long term.

“We’ve liked his play and we’ve liked his energy. It’s nice to have some youth in there. We talked about a few candidates and we fell on [Steen]. The messaging to him this morning was ‘Watch the game, take a breather and our intention is to get you back in there. It’s not like we’re disappointed in your play. We have 13 healthy forward. Somebody has to sit and tonight it’s your turn.’

Steen has a goal and five points in 12 games for the Bruins, had zero shots on net and was a minus-3 vs. Carolina after a quiet game last weekend against Nashville.

Interestingly enough, Cassidy hinted that it wouldn’t be a long term situation for Steen, which makes sense given that DeBrusk has been on the trade block for weeks after requesting a move away from the Black and Gold. Otherwise, it should be the same lineup with Linus Ullmark in net after stopping 20-of-22 shots in relief for the final 40 minutes of Tuesday night’s defeat after Tuukka Rask was pulled from the game.

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