UPDATE (6:43 p.m. ET): In a change from the initially anticipated lineup, Max Talbot will skate on the Boston Bruins’ fourth line, and Zach Rinaldo will be a healthy scratch. It will be Talbot’s first NHL game since Oct. 12.
ORIGINAL STORY: Max Talbot likely will be watching his first game back with the Boston Bruins from the press box.
Talbot was recalled Wednesday from Providence in the wake of Chris Kelly’s potentially season-ending leg injury, but the veteran forward is expected to be a healthy scratch Thursday as the Bruins visit the Washington Capitals.
Per the reported line rushes at morning skate, rookie Tyler Randell should return to the lineup for Boston, filling Kelly’s fourth-line spot alongside Zac Rinaldo and Joonas Kemppainen.
The Bruins are hoping for a bounce-back game after crumbling against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, but they’ll face one of their toughest tests yet in a high-powered Capitals team that enters with a record of 8-3-0.
The key to beating the Caps will be solving goalie Braden Holtby — something the Bruins rarely have been able to do. Holtby is 7-2-0 lifetime against Boston with three shutouts and just 13 total goals allowed, but he is coming off his worst outing of the season, having allowed five goals on 22 shots Tuesday in a loss to the New York Rangers.
Here are Thursday’s projected lines and pairings, as reported by the teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (6-4-1)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Brett Connolly
Loui Eriksson — David Krejci — Alex Khokhlachev
Matt Beleskey — Ryan Spooner — Jimmy Hayes
Max Talbot — Joonas Kemppainen — Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara — Colin Miller
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid
Joe Morrow — Kevan Miller
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (9-3-0)
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Nicklas Backstrom — Justin Williams
Jason Chimera — Jay Beagle — Andre Burakovsky
Brooks Laich — Michael Latta — Tom Wilson
Brooks Orpik — John Carlson
Carl Alzner — Matt Niskanen
Dimitry Orlov — Nate Schmidt
Thumbnail photo via Alex Brandon/Associated Press