BRIGHTON, MA – The Boston Bruins will be getting some penalty killing help back just in time with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming to town on Tuesday night.
Derek Forbort will make his return to the Bruins lineup after missing the last 12 games with a broken middle finger after blocking a shot, and rugged forward Trent Frederic will also be back in the lineup after missing two games with a banged up left shoulder suffered in last week’s win over Tampa Bay.
Linus Ullmark is also expected to dress for Tuesday night’s game against the Lightning, though Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery wouldn’t say whether it’s going to be Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman in net against the Bolts.
The bottom line, though, is a Boston Bruins penalty kill that’s struggled this month will get Forbort back as a shot-blocking physical presence against a Tampa Bay team with a vaunted power play attack.
“The penalty kill, obviously,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, when acknowledging where Forbort will have the most impact. “He starts every penalty kill, so that’s really important. But it’s not only that, but how aggressively he was playing.
“He defends hard and he’s hard to gain the blue line against because of his angling and his good gaps. And the other part is the physical element that he brings to our team.”
The Boston Bruins made one move on Monday waiving Anton Stralman to make salary cap space for Forbort coming off long term injured reserve, and Jim Montgomery said he wasn’t aware of any other roster moves necessary prior to puck drop vs. the Lightning. One would suspect that Ullmark would get the Tuesday night start against the Lightning, but Montgomery was playing his cards close to the vest with that call.
“I’m leaning one way, but I don’t want to help Tampa Bay’s power play figure out what we’re doing,” said Montgomery.
Here are the projected Boston Bruins forward combos and defense pairings against Tampa Bay based on Monday’s practice with Tuesday an optional skate at Warrior Ice Arena: