Bruce Cassidy is turning to a familiar lineup for Game 7.
Cassidy has tinkered with his lines at various points throughout the Bruins’ first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Maple Leafs, but the Boston head coach will go back to the team’s original plan for Wednesday night’s winner-take-all showdown at TD Garden.
Danton Heinen, who was a healthy scratch for Game 6 in Toronto, will rejoin the lineup and play on Boston’s third line with Riley Nash and David Backes, according to Cassidy.
Rick Nash will move back up to the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk after sliding down to the third line for Monday’s game at Air Canada Centre, which the Bruins lost 3-1.
Boston’s first and fourth lines will remain intact.
This means Tommy Wingels, Ryan Donato and Brian Gionta will be healthy scratches. Wingels took Heinen’s spot in the lineup for Game 6 and played on the second line, but Cassidy will reinsert Heinen for Game 7 in the hopes of receiving inspired play from the 22-year-old winger.
“The guys have responded, so if Danton goes back in after sitting a game, we hope we get that response,” Cassidy said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s the idea, for them to learn something from being up there, not take it personally, but take it personally, if that makes sense. ‘Hey, I have to get in there and keep my spot because there are some worthy guys here.’ If he goes back in, we hope that’s what happens.”
Heinen skated on the second line with Krejci and DeBrusk during Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, but Cassidy evidently decided against that route for Wednesday’s game. Instead, he’ll rely on the original lineup as the Bruins, who once held a 3-1 series lead, look to eliminate the Maple Leafs and set up a second-round date with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The projected lineups for Game 7 — based on Cassidy’s comments and how the Maple Leafs reportedly approached Wednesday’s practice — are below. (Toronto head coach Mike Babcock did not confirm his lineup after Wednesday’s practice, so there could be shakeups come game time.)
BOSTON BRUINS (3-3)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Rick Nash
Danton Heinen — Riley Nash — David Backes
Tim Schaller — Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
Matt Grzelcyk — Adam McQuaid
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (3-3)
Zach Hyman — Auston Matthews — Connor Brown
Patrick Marleau — Nazem Kadri — Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson — Tomas Plekanec — William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk — Tyler Bozak — Kasperi Kapanen
Morgan Rielly — Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner — Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott — Roman Polak