The Boston Bruins have struggled in Zdeno Chara’s absence but they’ll have to find a way to succeed without their big defenseman.
Chara still is “day-to-day” with a lower body injury he suffered Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues, per head coach Claude Julien, and isn’t expected to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
The Bruins have lost three games in a row and face a tough opponent in the Lightning, who rank fourth in the NHL with 3.09 goals per game. Yet Tampa Bay is without star forward Steven Stamkos, who could miss about four months with a right knee injury, and has lost two of its last three games.
Tuukka Rask is expected to start in net for Boston after Anton Khudobin played in Friday’s loss to the Calgary Flames. David Pastrnak also should be in the lineup for his third consecutive game since returning from injury.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (11-10-0)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Tim Schaller–David Krejci–David Backes
Matt Beleskey–Riley Nash–Austin Czarnik
Ryan Spooner–Dominic Moore–Jimmy Hayes
Torey Krug–Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles–Brandon Carlo
Kevan Miller–Colin Miller
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (13-8-1)
Alex Killorn–Vladislav Namestnikov–Nikita Kucherov
Brayden Point–Tyler Johnson–Ryan Callahan
Ondrej Palat–Valtteri Filppula–Jonathan Drouin
Brian Boyle–Cedric Paquette
Victor Hedman–Andrej Sustr
Nikita Nesterov–Braydon Coburn
Jason Garrison–Slater Koekkoek
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images