The Bruins will start a two-game Florida road trip Tuesday evening, and they begin the swing with the “easier” Sunshine State squad.
Boston will face the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in an Atlantic Division matchup. Despite injuries to key players, the Bruins have managed to get points in six of their last seven games, and will face an underachieving Panthers team that sits dead last in the division.
The Bruins are expected to roll with nearly the same forward lines, except Ryan Donato will slot into the second line left wing, with Danton Heinen dropping to the same spot on the third unit. Donato has played well since his call-up from Providence last week, scoring the shootout winner against the New York Islanders and adding a goal against the Detroit Red Wings.
On the blue line, however, the combinations are expected to get mixed up a touch. Matt Grzelcyk, not Torey Krug, is expected to skate on the left side of Brandon Carlo on the top pairing, with Krug skating beside John Moore on the second group.
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Bruins, while Roberto Luongo is expected to go for Florida if he’s healthy — he’s currently a game-time decision.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Tuesday night’s Bruins-Panthers game.
BOSTON BRUINS (14-8-4)
Brad Marchand — Colby Cave — David Pastrnak
Ryan Donato — David Krejci — Jake DeBrusk
Danton Heinen — Joakim Nordstrom — Noel Acciari
Chris Wagner — Sean Kuraly — David Backes
Matt Grzelcyk — Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug — John Moore
Jeremy Lauzon — Connor Clifton
FLORIDA PANTHERS (10-10-5)
Jonathan Huberdeau — Aleksander Barkov — Mike Hoffman
Evgenii Dadonov — Jared McCann — Frank Vatrano
Dryden Hunt — Nick Bjugstad — Troy Brouwer
Michael Haley — Juho Lammikko — Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle — Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson — Mark Pysyk
Bogdan Kiselevich — MacKenzie Weegar
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports