When the Boston Bruins meet the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, they’ll be welcoming the return of one of their trade deadline acquisitions.
Nick Ritchie missed a handful of practices leading up to the Bruins’ flight to the Toronto bubble, and he missed some more sessions in Ontario, keeping him out of the lineup for Boston’s exhibition against the Columbus Blue Jackets and opening round-robin game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
But he’ll be back in action when the Bruins take on the Bolts, head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed following Tuesday’s practice. Ritchie will skate on the second line left ring with David Krejci, while Karson Kuhlman is expected to play on the right side.
That’s at least to start, as Cassidy indicated he might move middle six wingers around during the game.
In his limited time with Boston, Ritchie has gotten a little bit of exposure to playing with Krejci, though not much. Regardless, he’s not overthinking things.
“I don’t need to think too much, it’s a hockey game at the end of the day,” Ritchie said Tuesday afternoon. “Hopefully I can compliment him by playing the style I play, and let his creativity combine with me driving the straight line, driving the net, winning puck battles and hopefully that works out for us.
With Ritchie on the second line, Jake DeBrusk will bump down to the third line right wing opposite Anders Bjork with Charlie Coyle between them.
The Bruins’ other deadline acquisition, Ondrej Kase, returned to skating with the main group Tuesday, splitting reps with Kuhlman on the second line right wing. But Kase isn’t in Wednesday’s plans.
“Kase’s back skating with the group but we’re not going to play him (Wednesday). He needs some more reps, so we’re targeting him for Sunday,” Cassidy indicated.
Puck drop for Bruins-Lightning is set for 4 p.m. ET.