Craig Smith is expected to return to the Boston Bruins’ lineup Saturday when they welcome the undefeated Florida Panthers to TD Garden.
Smith missed the last two games with what head coach Bruce Cassidy called a “nagging injury.” He returned to practice Saturday at Warrior Ice Arena, and likely will take his spot on the second line alongside Taylor Hall and Charlie Coyle.
“I’m doing good. Was great to be back on the ice with the guys again,” Smith told reporters after practice. “I think our team is in a good place, had some good jam out there. We’re excited. (Hall and Coyle) are great puck possession players, using our speed and definitely getting after it. I think anytime you come into a game and use your energy and use your physicality right away off the bat, establish your legs and your physicality, you play off that.”
Cassidy is hopeful Smith’s return will generate some more shots and, in turn, more goals considering the Bruins have struggled mightily to find the back of the net in their last two games.
“Smitty can really shoot it,” Cassidy told reporters. “He’s a volume shooter, which is right now, when the puck’s not going in, a mentality that helps to generate some offense.”
Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET on NESN.