BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins are truly looking to change the currently bad mojo headed into Friday night’s Game 3 at TD Garden and that means lineup changes beyond changing goalies or replacing an injured defenseman.
Chris Wagner will enter the Boston Bruins lineup for just the second time in the last week after spending the entire seasons in the AHL, and Trent Frederic will come out of the B’s forward top-12 after taking 14 penalty minutes in the first two games of the playoff series. Tomas Nosek will play up in Frederic’s left wing spot on the third line, but Bruce Cassidy made it clear the message is about Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith getting things into gear after a very slow start to the series.
“Freddy has got himself into a bit of penalty trouble. I’m not sure it’s all warranted, but at the end of the day that’s where he’s at right now,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who has had to scratch Frederic for the exact same thing at other points in the season. But it’s less about Freddy, and more about two guys that have been in the league, his center and right wing. They’ve been around. They need to drive the line no matter who is on their left side. Tonight, hopefully we get it.”
In other lineup tweaks, the Perfection Line will start the game together as Cassidy will reunite David Pastrnak with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron after putting them back together for the first time in months midway through Wednesday night’s Game 2 loss in Carolina. Pastrnak has zero points in the first two games and Marchand has just a single assist, so it could be a move that potentially energizes both players against what’s been a stifling Hurricanes defense to this point in the series.
“I think it’s the perfect time,” said Pastrnak, without a hint of a Perfection Line pun. “Playing with those guys, we’d been together for a while. So we know what to expect from each other. I’m excited, you know, it’s been a while. It’s going to be fun tonight.”
Clearly the Boston Bruins need some kind of spark overall after scoring just three goals in the first two playoff games against a stingy, quick Carolina defense that led the entire league in goals against and penalty kill during the regular season.
Mike Reilly will skate with Charlie McAvoy in a top pairing after replacing the injured Hampus Lindholm in the lineup, and Jeremy Swayman will get his first career Stanley Cup playoff start in a big must-win for the Black and Gold in the best-of-seven series: