Berkshire Bank Hockey Night In New England: Projected Bruins-Sabres Lines, Pairings

Thursday's game is on as of now


March 18, 2021

The game is on, as they say.

After a scare in the morning, the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres are scheduled to play Thursday night at KeyBank Center. A Bruins player landed on the COVID-19 list, as did a Buffalo staff member, and that forced both teams to scrap their morning skate until additional trusting was done.

But the necessary testing and contact tracing determined both teams are clear, so off we go.

The Bruins, after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, are looking for consecutive wins for the first time in a month, and they have the perfect opponent to do it against. The Sabres have been a tire fire this season and are about to play in their first game since head coach Ralph Krueger was fired.

Since there wasn’t a morning skate, the return status of Jarred Tinordi is unclear. The B’s defenseman left Tuesday’s game after getting boarded by Brandon Tanev, who was ejected as a result. Jack Ahcan steps up to make his NHL debut.

The Bruins made some tweaks to the bottom six against Pittsburgh, with Oskar Steen making his NHL debut and Karson Kuhlman also playing. There’s a possibility they could get swapped out with Chris Wagner and/or Anders Bjork.

After taking Tuesday off, Jaroslav Halak will be back in net Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups for Thursday’s Bruins-Sabres game

Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie–Charlie Coyle–Oskar Steen
Trent Frederic–Greg McKegg–Karson Kuhlman

Matt Grzelcyk–Charlie McAvoy
Jakub Zboril–Connor Clifton
Jack Ahcan–Steven Kampfer

Jaroslav Halak

Taylor Hall–Riley Sheahan–Tage Thompson
Tobias Rieder–Eric Staal–Sam Reinhart
Victor Olofsson–Cody Eakin–Kyle Okposo
Jeff Skinner–Curtis Lazar–Casey Mittelstadt

Brandon Davidson–Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin–Colin Miller
Henri Jokiharju–Brandon Montour

Jonas Johansson

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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