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

Colorado will be without Nathan MacKinnon on Wednesday

by

December 7, 2022

After a reunion with Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Boston will look to bounce back from a shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. On the other side, the defending Stanley Cup champions hope to avenge a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Black and Gold last Saturday.

The Avalanche will have to do so without star Nathan MacKinnon, who will miss four weeks due to an upper-body injury. Colorado also will be without defenseman Josh Manson and forward Valeri Nichushkin. But it will still have winger Mikko Rantanen and star defenseman Cale Makar to lead the way.

The injuries have led the Avalanche to a modest start to the 2022-23 NHL season. They stand in fourth in the Central division and eighth in the Western Conference ahead of Wednesday’s matchup.

The Bruins remain atop of the Atlantic Division despite the shootout loss, but the B’s are behind the upstart New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference. Wednesday kicks off a west coast road trip for Boston, and it will hope its hot stretch of the season hasn’t cooled down.

Head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed Craig Smith will return from an upper-body injury. The forward will take A.J. Greer’s spot on the fourth line. Montgomery revealed Linus Ullmark will be between the pipes, but Avs head coach Jared Bednar did not confirm who will start.

Wednesday’s puck drop from Ball Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, and you can catch all the action on NESN, beginning with an hour of pregame coverage at 8 p.m.

Here are the projected lines and defensive pairings for both the Bruins and Avalanche.

BOSTON BRUINS (20-3-1)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha — David Krejci — David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall — Charlie Coyle — Trent Frederic
Nick Foligno — Tomas Nosek — Craig Smith

Hampus Lindholm — Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk — Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort — Connor Clifton

Linus Ullmark

COLORADO AVALANCHE (13-9-1)
Mikko Rantanen — J.T. Compher — Logan O’Connor
Alex Newhook — Andrew Cogliano — Charles Hudon
Jean-Luc Foudy — Ben Meyers — Martin Kaut
Sampo Ranta — Callahan Burke — Dryden Hunt

Devon Toews — Cale Makar
Samuel Girard — Andreas Englund
Jacob MacDonald — Erik Johnson

Alexandar Georgiev

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

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Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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