You’re going to have to dig deep into your Boston Bruins program to recognize a majority of the defensive corps Friday night.
The Bruins have suffered a seemingly unending string of injuries on the back end, highlighted by captain Zdeno Chara suffering a lower body injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche. That’s in addition to injuries already suffered by players like Charlie McAvoy, Kevan Miller, Urho Vaakanainen and Brandon Carlo. And, to make matters worse, John Moore missed morning skate Friday and won’t play Friday night against the Dallas Stars.
So, you might ask, who is playing? Well, the Bruins will have not one but two defensemen making their NHL debuts in the heart of Texas, as both Connor Clifton and Jakub Zboril are expected to draw into the lineup. Clifton was alongside Torey Krug, the elder statesman, at morning skate, while Zboril — the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft — was paired with Kampfer.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy revealed Tuukka Rask will make the start in goal, his first appearance since returning from a leave of absence last week to deal with personal matters.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Bruins-Stars.
BOSTON BRUINS (10-6-2)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Joakim Nordstrom — David Krejci — Jake DeBrusk
Danton Heinen — Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson — Anders Bjork
Noel Acciari — Sean Kuraly — David Backes
Torey Krug — Connor Clifton
Jeremy Lauzon — Matt Grzelcyk
Jakob Zboril — Steven Kampfer
DALLAS STARS (9-7-2)
Jamie Benn — Tyler Seguin — Alexander Radulov
Jason Dickinson — Jason Spezza — Brett Ritchie
Blake Comeau — Radek Fasksa — Tyler Pitlick
Valeri Nichushkin — Mattias Janmark — Gemel Smith
Esa Lindell — Julius Honka
Miro Heiskanen — Roman Polak
Gavin Bayreuther — Joel Hanley
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images