It has been a long road for John Moore, but at long last he is back.
The Boston Bruins defenseman will make his season debut Thursday night when the B’s host the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden. Moore underwent offseason shoulder surgery this summer shortly after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final. The 29-year-old actually suffered the injury late in the regular season but elected to put off the surgery and play through the injury so that he could contribute to Boston’s postseason run.
With Moore slotting in, Connor Clifton goes out of the lineup, giving the Bruins two left shots on the third pairing with Moore and Matt Grzelcyk, with the expectation being Grzelcyk will skate on the right side.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy shook up the lines during Tuesday’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, and it appears he will keep the revamped trios together Thursday, at least for the start. That means the top line will feature Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci and David Pastrnak, with Brad Marchand, Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen making up the second unit. David Backes will stay on the fourth line with Joakim Nordstrom and Par Lindholm, with Chris Wagner skating opposite Anders Bjork on the third line, with Sean Kuraly between them.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins and will be opposed by Corey Crawford.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (20-3-5)
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand–Charlie Coyle–Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom–Par Lindholm–David Backes
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Matt Grzelcyk
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (10-12-5)
Brandon Saad–Jonathan Toews–Alex Nylander
Alex Debrincat–Dylan Strome–Patrick Kane
Anton Wedin–David Kampf–Dominik Kubalik
Ryan Carpenter–Kirby Dach–Zack Smith
Olli Maatta–Connor Murphy
Calvin de Haan–Brent Seabrook
Erik Gustafsson–Slater Koekkoek
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images