BRIGHTON, MA – With the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning to draw near, injured Boston Bruins players are also beginning to draw near returns to the lineup. Taylor Hall (lower body) is close to becoming an option even as he hasn’t been medically cleared to play as of Thursday afternoon, and now shutdown defenseman Derek Forbort (lower body) has returned to the ice and begun skating on his own prior to Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
Nick Foligno was again skating with the Boston Bruins as well, but participating in a non-contact jersey once again.
“Hall is not cleared to play yet. David Krejci is out. Bergeron’s line will be intact and Pavel Zacha will play with Tyler Bertuzzi and No. 88,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “There’s a lot of value [in these games]. It ups everybody’s antennae as far as intensity and purpose and being able to test ourselves and where we’re at, both individually and collectively.”
— p – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 6, 2023
Montgomery was alluding to games against Toronto and New Jersey coming up next as a pair of opponents that the Black and Gold could very well end up facing in the Stanley Cup playoffs a few weeks and months from now.
The impending Forbort return is good news for the Boston Bruins penalty kill and for their defensive zone work in general after Forbort has missed the last three weeks after blocking a shot in a March 16 road win against the Winnipeg Jets. Forbort has missed a total of 10 games and counting with his latest injury due to a blocked shot and is likely to miss the final five regular season games prior to the start of the postseason.
For the immediate future, however, Hall is out for Thursday night’s game against the Maple Leafs and David Krejci will miss a second straight game after exiting Wednesday’s practice early with lower body discomfort. The Boston Bruins also recalled Oskar Steen from Providence after morning skate, so it remains to be seen if there’s another banged up forward body that’s going to come out of the lineup.
Here is the expected Boston Bruins lineup for Thursday night with Jeremy Swayman getting the call between the pipes for the Black and Gold: