The Bruins are expected to see the return of an important piece of their lineup Thursday night on Long Island.
Hours before puck drop for Game 3, Bruce Cassidy revealed Boston anticipates Craig Smith will play in the first tilt of the second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series at Nassau Coliseum. Smith suffered a lower-body injury in the Bruins’ Game 1 win over the Islanders, which forced him to miss Game 2.
With Smith back and in his usual second-line right wing slot, Jake DeBrusk is expected to bump back down to the third line. DeBrusk skated alongside Taylor Hall and David Krejci in Boston’s overtime loss Monday, while Karson Kuhlman filled in on the third line.
The Isles are expected to roll with the same lineup as Game 2 including goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who impressed in his first start of the best-of-seven series.
Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for Bruins-Islanders Game 3:
BOSTON BRUINS (1-1)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall–David Krejci–Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie–Charlie Coyle–Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly–Curtis Lazar–Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk–Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly–Brandon Carlo
Jeremy Lauzon–Connor Clifton
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (1-1)
Leo Komarov–Mathew Barzal–Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier–Brock Nelson–Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri–J-G Pageau–Travis Zajac
Matt Martin–Casey Cizikas–Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech–Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy–Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene–Noah Dobson