It’s Oct. 17, so there’s really no need to force David Krejci into the lineup if he isn’t totally healthy. Despite the opponent, that’ll be the approach the Boston Bruins take Thursday.
The Bruins are set to host the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden, and the B’s will be without Krejci on the second line.
Krejci left Monday’s win over the Anaheim Ducks after skating less than five minutes and later was said to have an upper-body injury. The ailment comes after Krejci missed the end of the preseason as well as the season opener with a lower-body injury. The 33-year-old originally was listed as questionable for Thursday’s game, but head coach Bruce Cassidy ruled him out after morning skate.
With Krejci out, Charlie Coyle, as well as Brett Ritchie, will move up to the second line, with the duo joining Jake DeBrusk. Par Lindholm is expected to center the third line so as not to disrupt the chemistry of Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner on the fourth unit. As a result, Lindholm, Karson Kuhlman and Danton Heinen will make up the third line.
After sitting out Monday’s game, Connor Clifton is back in the lineup, replacing Steven Kampfer on the right side of the third defensive pairing.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins and likely will be opposed by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
BOSTON BRUINS (5-1-0)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Brett Ritchie
Danton Heinen–Par Lindholm–Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Connor Clifton
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (3-2-1)
Steven Stamkos–Brayden Point–Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn–Anthony Cirelli–Mathieu Joseph
Ondrej Palat–Tyler Johnson–Yanni Gourde
Pat Maroon–Carter Verhaeghe–Luke Witkowski
Victor Hedman–Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh–Kevin Shattenkirk
Braydon Coburn–Mikhail Sergachev
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images