It has been well over fourth months in the making, but the Boston Bruins have a game Thursday night.
Three days ahead of their first round-robin game, the Bruins will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in a scrimmage at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game on NESN.
Teams can dress as many as 20 skaters instead of the typical 18 for the scrimmage, and the Bruins plan on using 13 forwards and seven defensemen. John Moore will be the extra defenseman, while Karson Kuhlman will be the final forward.
Nick Ritchie will not play, though he did participate in Thursday morning’s optional skate. As a result, Jack Studnicka will skate in what’s become his usual spot on the second line right wing opposite Jake DeBrusk with David Krejci between them. Anders Bjork likely will begin as the third line right wing with Sean Kuraly and Charlie Coyle. However, expect plenty of shuffling, so those lines probably won’t be set in stone.
Similarly, Moore likely will see plenty of run with Matt Grzelcyk as the other third-pairing defenseman. Right now it’s Jeremy Lauzon’s job to lose, but Moore and Connor Clifton figure to be close behind him.
Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins, but Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Jaroslav Halak also will play. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella wouldn’t commit to playing 20 instead of 18, but if they use 20 expect them to dress 12 forwards and eight blueliners, with Scott Harrington and Markus Nutivaara being the spare defensemen.
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Jack Studnicka
Sean Kuraly–Charlie Coyle–Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom–Par Lindholm–Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara–Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug–Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk–Jeremy Lauzon
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Nick Foligno–Alexander Wennberg–Cam Atkinson
Alexandre Texier–Pierre-Luc Dubois–Oliver Bjorkstrand
Gus Nyquist–Boone Jenner–Liam Foudy
Eric Robinson–Riley Nash–Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski–Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov–David Savard
Ryan Murray–Dean Kukan
Scott Harrington–Markus Nutivaara
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images