The Boston Bruins aren’t totally healthy, but they are getting healthier.
After nearly a month out, David Backes will make his return to the lineup Sunday night as the B’s host the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. This meeting comes just days after Boston delivered an 8-1 thumping to the Habs at Bell Centre.
Jack Studnicka was sent down Sunday morning, clearing some space for Backes on the roster. As a result, Backes will skate on the third line opposite Anders Bjork with Sean Kuraly with them. Backes hasn’t played since leaving Boston’s win over the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 2 with an upper-body injury after his scary collision with Scott Sabourin, who was stretchered off the ice.
With Backes on the third line, Danton Heinen bumps up to the second trio, joining Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk.
Connor Clifton remains in the lineup, skating on the third pairing with Matt Grzelcyk. This is Clifton’s 60th NHL game, meaning he now will require waivers in order to get sent down to the AHL, which isn’t impossible with John Moore nearing a return.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for Boston. Carey Price will be between the pipes for Montreal.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (18-3-5)
Brad Marchand–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork–Sean Kuraly–David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom–Par Lindholm–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Connor Clifton
MONTREAL CANADIENS (11-9-6)
Tomas Tatar–Phillip Danault–Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen–Max Domi–Nick Suzuki
Nick Cousins–Jesperi Kotkaniemi–Joel Armia
Charles Hudon–Natw Thompson–Jordan Weal
Ben Chiarot–Shea Weber
Brett Kulak–Jeff Petry
Mikey Reilly–Cale Fleury
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images