Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk will be a healthy scratch against the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
DeBrusk was surprisingly skating with the extras at the morning skate at Crypto.com Arena on Saturday morning. Following the skate, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters that DeBrusk was late for a team meeting and confirmed that he would not play against the Kings.
Per Coach Montgomery, Jake DeBrusk was late to a team meeting and will not play tonight in Los Angeles. pic.twitter.com/1Hm9oWldVA
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 21, 2023
As a result, veteran winger Milan Lucic will be elevated from the fourth line and slot into DeBrusk’s spot as the first line left wing alongside Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak.
Veteran forward Patrick Brown will also make his Boston Bruins debut as slots into the right wing slot on the fourth line, with Jakub Lauko moving into Lucic’s spot on the left wing. Rookie center John Beecher will remain in the middle.
There will also be a lineup change on the blue line as defenseman Ian Mitchell will slot in for veteran defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and play alongside Derek Forbort on the third defensive pairing.
Jake DeBrusk has played all three games for the Boston Bruins this season but has yet to register a point. The 27-year-old winger is in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a $4 million salary cap hit. Both the Bruins and DeBrusk have expressed mutual interest in reaching an agreement on a contract extension.
“We’d like to know if Jake indeed does what to be here,” Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told the media on Sept. 20. “Hopefully, we can find common ground. We’d like to see Jake remain with the Boston Bruins.”
DeBrusk said pretty much the same a month before that:
“I’m hoping to stay (with the Boston Bruins). It’s the only team that I know and the team that I grew up with,” DeBrusk told NHL.com on August 20. “Hopefully, it goes in that direction, and we’ll see how it goes.”
Here’s what the lineup should look like for the Boston Bruins against the Kings on Saturday night:
Milan Lucic-Pavel Zacha-David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand-Matt Poitras-Morgan Geekie
James van Riemsdyk-Charlie Coyle-Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko-John Beecher-Patrick Brown
Extra: Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Ian Mitchell
Extra: Kevin Shattenkirk