Just days after gaining back winger Jake DeBrusk, the Boston Bruins’ lineup is expected to take another massive step toward regaining full strength.
David Pastrnak is probable to make his return as the Bruins get set to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum at 7 p.m. in a tough road tilt against the Metropolitan Division’s top team.
The winger’s expected return will result in some line shuffling, with Pastrnak retaking his slot on the top line’s wing, flanking Patrice Bergeron opposite Brad Marchand. The 22-year-old missed 16 games with a thumb injury that required surgery, last playing on Feb. 10. He was leading the team with 31 goals when he went on the shelf.
The second line should remained untouched, with David Krejci centering DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle. Danton Heinen will shift down to the third line, skating opposite Chris Wagner with Sean Kuraly at pivot. Joakim Nordstrom and David Backes will flank the fourth unit with Noel Acciari between them, while Paul Carey will be a healthy scratch.
With Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk remaining sidelined, Bruce Cassidy is expected to role with the same blue line pairings as Saturday’s tilt against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Tuukka Rask will get the start in goal for the Bruins, while the Islanders will counter with Robin Lehner.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Saturday night’s Bruins-Islanders game:
BOSTON BRUINS (43-20-9)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Charlie Coyle
Danton Heinen — Sean Kuraly — Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom — Noel Acciari — David Backes
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
John Moore — Brandon Carlo
Steven Kampfer — Connor Clifton
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (42-23-7)
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier — Brock Nelson — Andrew Ladd
Josh Bailey — Valtteri Filppula — Tom Kuhnhackl
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Thomas Hickey — Devon Toews
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images