Bruce Cassidy Explains Logic Behind Bruins’ Game 2 Lineup Changes

David Krejci also was involved in the decision making

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The Boston Bruins’ second and third lines will look a bit different for the second game of their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series against the New York Islanders.

Jake DeBrusk will move up to the second line right wing in place of the injured Craig Smith, who currently is day-to-day after exiting Saturday’s Game 1 due to injury. Smith’s injury also opens the door for the 2021 playoff debut of Karson Kuhlman, who will serve as Boston’s third-line right wing to start Game 2.

Speaking with the media after Monday’s morning skate, B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy explained how the pair of lineup decisions were reached.

“I talked to Krech (David Krejci) a little bit as well,” Cassidy told reporters, per a clip shared by the team. “The easiest thing — would’ve just dropped Kuhlman in there then all the other lines stay the same. Get some continuity, Krech has played with Kuhly before in the playoff run. But we also want to give Jake the opportunity to play with Krech again. He’s done that before. I know he looks up to Taylor Hall, so maybe that’ll spur him on a little more. Certainly a guy that has played in the top six.

“Kuhly’s played with (Charlie) Coyle before as well, so (he) puts some speed on that right side that Charlie’s used to now with Jake. Either way, we thought we’d be covered. Again, just go to go out and play your own game no matter what line you’re on. But that’s the way we’re gonna start, see how it ends up. Like every game, we might have to make some moves in-game if we don’t like what we see. Hopefully, it’s a good fit for everybody.”

The Bruins currently own a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. NESN+ will provide a half hour of pregame coverage before Game 2, while a full hour of postgame action can be seen on NESN and NESN+ once the final horn sounds.

New York Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Boston Bruins center David Krejci
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