BOSTON – It’s a best-of-three series now between a pair of Original Six rivals.
With their first-round Stanley Cup playoff matchup now locked up at two, the Boston Bruins are looking to push the Toronto Maple Leafs to the brink of elimination Friday night at TD Garden in Game 5. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET on NESN.
Sean Kuraly might make his much-anticipated return from a hand fracture suffered March 21. At present he’s considered a game-time decision, but should he be good to go he will slot into the fourth line, replacing Joakim Nordstrom on the left wing. Nordstrom is one of Boston’s best penalty killers and leads the team in shorthanded time on ice this postseason, so other forwards will have an important void to fill.
With Kuraly’s return, the only injured Bruins are defensemen Kevan Miller and Connor Clifton. That means John Moore will remain on the third defensive pairing alongside Matt Grzelcyk.
The Maple Leafs aren’t expected to make any lineup changes.
Tuukka Rask will start in net for Boston and will be opposed by Frederik Andersen.
Here are the projected Game 5 lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (2-2)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Marcus Johansson–Charlie Coyle–David Backes
Sean Kuraly–Noel Acciari–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Matt Grzelcyk
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (2-2)
Zach Hyman–John Tavares–Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson–Auston Matthews–Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau–William Nylander–Connor Brown
Tyler Ennis–Frederik Gauthier–Trevor Moore
Morgan Rielly — Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin — Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner — Travis Dermott
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images