BOSTON — The Boston Bruins finally put an end to a three-game losing streak, but a tough stretch now awaits them.
After dispatching the Predators 6-2 Tuesday in Nashville, the Bruins are back home to take on the Winnipeg Jets, who are coming off a shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Six of the Bruins’ remaining seven games before the All-Star break will be against teams in playoff positions.
For Boston, the only known changes from Tuesday’s lineup to Thursday’s will be David Backes slotting in on the third line right wing in place of Brett Ritchie, and Joakim Nordstrom in for Par Lindholm on the fourth unit.
Though Ritchie played well against the Preds, his omission from the lineup only is partially hockey related. Because the Bruins are in the midst of a mother’s trip (which began in Nashville), head coach Bruce Cassidy wanted to ensure everyone got a chance to play while their moms were in town.
“We always do what’s best for the hockey club first, but we just felt like that was the appropriate thing to do,” Cassidy after pregame skate, via Bruins.com. “Ritchie, unfortunately, comes out. I think they play similar games. He actually had a real good game, so a little unfortunate timing, but if he carries that over, he’ll be fine, he’ll get his opportunity. I think David’s certainly capable of doing things Ritchie can. Hopefully, he can carry over what happened the other night.”
As for Nordstrom, he was ill Tuesday and didn’t travel, so with him back in the lineup Sean Kuraly moves back to center while Lindholm is a healthy scratch.
The Bruins might be without Torey Krug, who was kept home from morning skate due to the aforementioned illness that has swept through the locker room. He’s considered a game-time decision, but if he’s out then Steven Kampfer will play, likely joining John Moore on the third pairing while Matt Grzelcyk takes Krug’s spot on the second duo.
Jaroslav Halak is expected to be in net for the Bruins. Laurent Brossoit will be in net for the Jets after Connor Hellebuyck played against the Leafs.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (25-8-11)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen–Charlie Coyle–David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Matt Grzelcyk
WINNIPEG JETS (24-16-4)
Kyle Connor–Mark Scheifele–Patrik Laine
Nikolaj Ehlers–Blake Wheeler–Andrew Copp
Mathieu Perreault–Adam Lowry–Jack Roslovic
Gabriel Bourque–Nick Shore–Mason Appleton
Josh Morrissey–Tucker Poolman
Luca Sbisa–Neal Pionk
Dmitry Kulikov–Anthony Bitetto
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images