BOSTON — The Boston Bruins are looking to extend their point streak to 19 games, and they’ll attempt to do it with a fresh face in the lineup.
Injuries have been commonplace for the Bruins this season, and entering Saturday night’s tilt against the lowly Ottawa Senators at TD Garden, Boston will be without Jake DeBrusk (lower-body), Marcus Johansson (shoulder), David Pastrnak (thumb) and Kevan Miller (upper-body).
With so many players unavailable, Lee Stempniak is the next guy in line to get a chance with the Bruins. Unlike many others who have gotten a shot with the big club this season, Stempniak is a seasoned NHL veteran, with 909 career NHL games to his name. He spent training camp with the Bruins on a PTO, but did not make the roster. He continued skating with the team in practices in Boston, and last month he finally was signed to a deal for the rest of the year, promptly getting sent to Providence.
After getting recalled Friday, the 36-year-old — who played 19 games with the B’s in 2016 after getting sent to Boston at the trade deadline — will skate on the second-line right wing opposite Joakim Nordstrom, with David Krejci between them.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the B’s, while the Senators will counter with Craig Anderson.
Here are the projected lines and defense pairings for Saturday night’s Senators-Bruins game:
BOSTON BRUINS (41-17-9)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom–David Krejci–Lee Stempniak
Peter Cehlarik–Charlie Coyle–David Backes
Sean Kuraly–Noel Acciari–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–John Moore
OTTAWA SENATORS (23-39-6)
Zack Smith–Colin White–Bobby Ryan
Brady Tkachuk–Jean-Gabriel Pageau–Anthony Duclair
Rudolfs Balcers–Chris Tierney–Magnus Paajarvi
Brians Gibbons–Oscar Lindberg–Mikkel Boedker
Thomas Chabot–Dylan Demelo
Christian Wolanin–Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki–Ben Harpur
Thumbnail photo via Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports Images