The task for the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Ottawa Senators is simple:
Win, or their season is over.
Boston is on the brink of elimination after losing 1-0 in Game 4 at TD Garden on Wednesday night. Now, the series is back at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, where the Senators can close it out with a Game 5 victory Friday night.
The B’s only win of the series was in Game 1 in Ottawa, when they overcame a 1-0 third-period deficit to win 2-1.
The Bruins will make a switch in the bottom-six for Game 5, as Sean Kuraly will draw in for Ryan Spooner. Spooner has zero even-strength points in this series and has struggled on faceoffs. He’s been a non-factor offensively, so it makes sense to switch up that fourth-line center spot.
Boston’s offense has been inconsistent throughout the series, and overall, it has not performed to expectations. The Bruins rank second- or third-to-last in several offensive categories.
Here are the projected Game 5 lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (1-3)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Backes
Drew Stafford–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Dominic Moore–Riley Nash–Noel Acciari
Matt Beleskey–Sean Kuraly–Tim Schaller
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Joe Morrow–Kevan Miller
John-Michael Liles–Colin Miller
OTTAWA SENATORS (3-1)
Ryan Dzingel–Kyle Turris–Alex Burrows
Viktor Stalberg–Derick Brassard–Bobby Ryan
Mike Hoffman–Zack Smith–Mark Stone
Clarke MacArthur–Jean-Gabriel Pageau–Chris Kelly
Mark Methot–Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf–Cody Ceci
Ben Harpur–Chris Wideman
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images