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

Third place in the Atlantic Division standings is up for grabs

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The Boston Bruins will be shorthanded Friday when they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their fourth, final and perhaps most-fateful meeting of the regular season.

David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm will miss the matchup due to injuries, Bruce Cassidy confirmed Friday at a press conference, following morning skate. The Bruins already had ruled out Pastrnak from participating, but Lindholm’s status was uncertain as recently as Thursday.

Their absences will dent Boston’s prospects of winning the game and taking sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division standings. The Bruins and Lightning both have 93 points, but Boston owns tiebreaker with 35 to 32 lead in regulation wins.

Marc McLaughlin will replace Pastrnak as second-line right wing. Tomas Nosek, who filled in for Pastrnak on Tuesday in Boston’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings, returns to his customary spot as fourth-line center.

With Lindholm on the mend, Mike Reilly will join Charlie McAvoy on the Bruins’ top defensive pairing. Reilly most recently played alongside Derek Forbert on the third pairing and he now moves up in the pecking order. Conor Clifton slots into the right-side Reilly vacates on the third unit.

There’s some good news on the injury front, as Trent Frederic returns to action. He left Monday’s win over the Columbus Blue Jackets due to an upper-body injury but since has recovered and is set to play against Tampa as third-line left wing.

Frederic’s return bumps left wing Nick Foligno back to the fourth line, where he reunites with Nosek and Curtis Lazar, who also draws back into the lineup.

Linus Ullmark replaces Jeremy Swayman as the Bruins’ starting goaltender.

The B’s lead the Bolts 2-1 in their season series. Boston has won the last two tilts.

NESN will air Bruins versus Lightning in full, with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. Puck drop from Amalie Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m., and postgame coverage immediately will follow the final horn.

Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for Bruins-Lightning

BOSTON BRUINS (44-20-5)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall–Erik Haula–Marc McLaughlin
Trent Frederic–Charlie Coyle–Craig Smith
Nick Foligno–Tomas Nosek–Curtis Lazar

Mike Reilly–Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk–Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort–Conor Clifton/Josh Brown

Linus Ullmark

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (43-20-7)
Ondrej Palat–Brayden Point–Nikita Kucherov
Nick Paul–Anthony Cirelli–Alex killorn
Brandon Hagel–Steven Stamkos–Soss Colton
Pat Maroon–Pierre Edouard Bellemare–Corey Perry

Victor Hedman–Jan Rutta
Mikhail Sergachev–Erik Cernak
Zach Bogosian–Cal Foote

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Presented by Berkshire Bank. The official Bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins Coverage.

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