The Boston Bruins are off to their hottest start in years, but can they keep it going against a skilled Colorado Avalanche team?
After earning wins in the first three contests of their four-game road trip, the Bruins will look to wrap up the swing out west with a victory Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
And judging by morning skate, reinforcements might have arrived for Boston.
Joakim Nordstrom skated in his typical spot on the fourth line Thursday morning, and after the skate, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy announced the veteran would draw back into the lineup. The 27-year-old has been out to begin the season after offseason foot surgery following an injury suffered during Boston’s postseason run. David Backes, Par Lindholm and Brett Ritchie presumably are competing for the third-line right wing spot beside Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen. During rushes Thursday morning, it was Backes in that spot.
Cassidy also confirmed Jaroslav Halak will be the starter against Colorado. He probably would have been the starter even if Tuukka Rask hadn’t cramped at the end of Tuesday’s win over the Vegas Golden Knights and needed to be helped off the ice. Philipp Grubauer will start for the Avs,
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (3-0-0)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Karson Kuhlman
Danton Heinen–Charlie Coyle–David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Connor Clifton
COLORADO AVALANCHE (2-0-0)
Gabriel Landeskog–Nathan MacKinnon–Mikko Rantanen
Andre Burakovsky–Nazem Kadri–Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto–Tyson Jost–Colin Wilson
Matt Calvert–PE Bellemare–Val Nichushkin
Sam Girard–Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov–Cale Makar
Ryan Graves–Mark Barberio