The Boston Bruins enter a potential first-round playoff preview with nine healthy defensemen at their disposal.
Saturday night will mark the return of Kevan Miller to the Bruins’ blue line as the B’s take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Miller has missed the last nine games with an upper-body injury, but is good to go Saturday and will skate on the right side of the third pairing alongside usual partner Matt Grzelcyk.
As a result, Adam McQuaid will be the healthy scratch, as will newly-acquired blue-liner Nick Holden and depth defenseman Paul Postma.
The Bruins will be catching a break, however, as the Maple Leafs will be without star youngster Auston Matthews, the team’s highest scorer with a 28-22-50 line through 53 games. The 20-year-old left Thursday’s shootout win over the New York Islanders with a reported shoulder injury.
Tuukka Rask will start in net for the Bruins, while the Leafs will send out Frederik Andersen.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (37-13-8)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Ryan Spooner
Danton Heinen — Riley Nash — David Backes
Tim Schaller — Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk –Kevan Miller
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (38-20-5)
Zach Hyman — William Nylander –Connor Brown
Patrick Marleau — Nazem Kadri — Mitchell Marner
James van Riemsdyk — Tyler Bozak –Kasperi Kapanen
Leo Komarov — Dominic Moore — Josh Leivo
Morgan Rielly –Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner — Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott — Roman Polak
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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