Folks, Boston Bruins hockey is back.
The Bruins on Thursday will begin their 2021 campaign, taking on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. It’ll be the first of two straight games between the two sides in Newark, with Game 2 set for Saturday afternoon. Both games will be on NESN.
With the way the lines shook out in training camp, there are few surprises for the Bruins.
With David Pastrnak out to begin the season, Jack Studnicka skates on the top line, while Nick Ritchie, Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith form the third line. Anders Bjork will take the fourth line spot vacated by Joakim Nordstrom.
The only way complications come in is if Brad Marchand or Smith cannot go. Bruce Cassidy labeled both as game-time decisions, but each did take part in morning skate. If one or both cannot play, then Trent Frederic will draw in and most of the lines will end up shaken up.
On the back end, Kevan Miller will play his first game since April 2019, skating alongside a youngster in Jakub Zboril. Jeremy Lauzon gets Zdeno Chara’s old spot, while Matt Grzelcyk slots in next to Brandon Carlo in Torey Krug’s old role.
Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins, with MacKenzie Blackwood set to start for the Devils.
Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for Bruins-Devils.
BOSTON BRUINS (0-0-0)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Jack Studnicka
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Ondrej Kase
Nick Ritchie–Charlie Coyle–Craig Smith
Anders Bjork–Sean Kuraly–Chris Wagner
Jeremy Lauzon–Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk–Brandon Carlo
Jakub Zboril–Kevan Miller
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (0-0-0)
Yegor Harangovich–Jack Hughes–Kyle Palmieri
Andreas Johnsson–Pavel Zacha–Nikita Gusev
Jesper Boqvist–Travis Zajac–Miles Wood
Janne Kuokkanen–Michael McLeod–Nathan Bastian
Ryan Murray–P.K. Subban
Dmitry Kulikov–Damon Severson
Ty Smith–Matt Tennyson