It looked like the Boston Bruins were on the mend, but alas, they now are down another important forward.
Bottom six forward Sean Kuraly will miss roughly the next four weeks as he recovers from a hand fracture suffered by blocking a shot during the B’s 5-1 drubbing of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Kuraly joins Marcus Johansson, Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller on the list of injured Bruins.
Kuraly’s absence will result in a bit of shuffling up front for the Bruins’ tilt with the Florida Panthers on Saturday night at BB&T Center.
Charlie Coyle will bump back down to the third line, where he will pivot Danton Heinen and Chris Wagner. Karson Kuhlman, who was called up Saturday morning, will slide in at wing on the second unit opposite Jake DeBrusk with David Krejci between them. That leaves Joakim Nordstrom, David Backes and Noel Acciari as Boston’s fourth line.
With three defenseman still out, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will continue to roll with the defensive pairings he’s been using lately. Connor Clifton and Brandon Carlo will make up the second duo, while John Moore and Steven Kampfer will serve as the third the third.
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Bruins, while Sam Montembeault is expected to go for Florida.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Saturday night’s Bruins-Panthers game.
BOSTON BRUINS (45-20-9)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen–Charlie Coyle–Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom–Noel Acciari–David Backes
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Connor Clifton–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Steven Kampfer
FLORIDA PANTHERS (33-29-12)
Jonathan Huberdeau — Aleksander Barkov — Evgenii Dadonov
Jayce Hawryluk — Vincent Trocheck–Mike Hoffman
Frank Vatrano–Riley Sheahan–Troy Brouwer
Jamie McGinn–Henrik Borgstrom–Colton Sceviour
Mike Matheson–Aaron Ekblad
Keith Yandle–MacKenzie Weegar
Mark Pysyk–Josh Brown
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images