BOSTON — The Boston Bruins have struggled with secondary scoring all season, and now they’ll be tested more so than at any other point on the campaign.
With David Pastrnak hurting his thumb by slipping and falling after a team event, the B’s will be without their top scorer for at least the next two weeks. They’ll play Game No. 1 sans Pastrnak Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.
It is expected that Jake DeBrusk will return to the second line wing alongside David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik in Pastrnak’s absence. David Backes, who was a healthy scratch in Sunday’s win over the Colorado Avalanche, will be active and on the third line next to Joakim Nordstrom and Trent Frederic.
Matt Grzelcyk, who missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, is expected to miss a third straight contest Tuesday, meaning John Moore will remain on the third defensive pairing with Brandon Carlo.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins. The Blackhawks are expected to counter with Collin Delia, who they signed to a three-year extension Monday.
Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for Tuesday night’s Blackhawks–Bruins game.
BOSTON BRUINS (31-17-8)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Peter Cehlarik
Joakim Nordstrom–Trent Frederic–David Backes
Sean Kuraly –Noel Acciari– Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Kevan Miller
John Moore–Brandon Carlo
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (23-24-9)
Drake Caggiula–Jonathan Toews–Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat–Dylan Strome–Dominik Kahun
Brandon Saad–Marcus Kruger–Brendan Perlini
John Hayden–Artem Anisimov–Dylan Sikura
Duncan Keith–Brent Seabrook
Carl Dahlstrom–Connor Murphy
Slater Koekkoek–Erik Gustafsson
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images