BOSTON — The absence of Jake DeBrusk has left a noticeable void on the Boston Bruins’ top six, but they’ll welcome his return Saturday night at TD Garden.
After a five game absence due to a foot injury from blocking a shot, the second-line winger is expected to be back in the lineup when the B’s take on the Columbus Blue Jackets, whom Boston fell to 7-4 on Tuesday in Columbus.
DeBrusk’s return will result in some line shuffling, beginning with Trent Frederic getting healthy scratched. Charlie Coyle will skate opposite DeBrusk on the second unit with David Krejci between them. Paul Carey and Chris Wagner will flank Sean Kuraly on the third line, while Joakim Nordstrom, Noel Acciari and David Backes will make up the fourth group.
With the Bruins still awaiting the respective returns of Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, they’ll skate John Moore with Brandon Carlo on the second pairing, while Steven Kampfer and Connor Clifton will serve as the third duo.
Jaroslav Halak will be in net for the B’s, while the Blue Jackets will counter with Joonas Korpisalo.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Saturday night’s Bruins-Blue Jackets game:
BOSTON BRUINS (42-20-9)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Charlie Coyle
Paul Carey–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom–Noel Acciari–David Backes
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
John Moore–Brandon Carlo
Steven Kampfer–Connor Clifton
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (40-28-3)
Artemi Panarin–Pierre-Luc Dubois–Cam Atkinson
Ryan Dzingel–Matt Duchene–Josh Anderson
Nick Foligno–Boone Jenner–Riley Nash
Brandon Dubinsky–Alexander Wennberg–Oliver Bjorkstrand
Zach Werenski–Seth Jones
Markus Nutivaara–David Savard
Scott Harrington–Adam McQuaid
Thumbnail photo via Russell LaBounty/USA TODAY Sports Images