The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens didn’t expect to meet so soon, but they probably won’t need long to renew hostilities.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy is expected to make two changes to the lineup for Wednesday night’s tilt at TD Garden, with Jake DeBrusk and Tomas Nosek returning from their respective stints in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Having missed Boston’s last four games, DeBrusk is expected to re-take the third-line left wing position, bumping Karson Kuhlman out of the mix.
With Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton in protocol, John Moore and Urho Vaakanainen will be the third defensive pairing for the second consecutive game.
Linus Ullmarlk starts as the Bruins’ goaltender, with the Tuukka Rask serving as his backup.
TNT will air Bruins-Canadiens. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The game originally was scheduled to take place March 21, but the NHL rescheduled it for Wednesday due to capacity restrictions in Canada and a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Here are the teams’ projected lines and defensive pairings:
BOSTON BRUINS (19-11-2)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Craig Smith
Taylor Hall–Erik Haula–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–Charlie Coyle–Oskar Steen
Anton Blidh–Tomas Nosek–Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk–Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly–Brandon Carlo
John Moore–Urho Vaakanainen
MONTREAL CANADIENS (7-23-4)
Artturi Lehkonen–Nick Suzuki–Mike Hoffman
Jonathan Drouin–Christian Dvorak–Joel Armia
Laurent Dauphin–Ryan Poehling–Cole Caufield
Cedric Paquette–Lukas Vejdemo–Michael Pezzetta
Ben Chiarot–David Savard
Brett Kulak–Jeff Petry
Sami Niku–Chris Wideman
These projected lines and defensive pairings are presented by Berkshire Bank, the official bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins coverage.