Tuesday night marks the end of a four game road trip for the Boston Bruins. The team takes on the Winnipeg Jets, where they look to extend their point streak to six games.
As the Boston Bruins get set to to wrap up their road trip through the NHL’s Central Division, they should extend a big thank you to the Arizona Coyotes, who defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 Monday night. The Lightning’s loss puts Boston in control of their own destiny. Two points back with two games in hand, along with two huge contests against Tampa Bay before the regular season ends.
While the Bruins have their eye on the number one seed, they know the more important matter is getting back some of their injured players, which started to happen Sunday when Patrice Bergeron(Foot) and Torey Krug (Upper Body) returned to action.
David Krejci spoke to the media Tuesday morning, stating that there’s a balance of importance between getting players back and catching Tampa Bay as the regular season nears its end.
"We’ve got to get our injured guys back healthy again, but at the same time find a way to keep winning games and get ready for playoffs."
When asked if the team has been scoreboard watching the Lightning, the 31 year old responded “Maybe a little bit”. Passing them would pit them against the second wild card in the East (Currently New Jersey) instead of division rival Toronto, who has topped Boston in three of their four meetings this season.
Positive News on the Injury Front
David Backes (Leg) skated during the morning skate in Winnipeg, his first time on the ice since getting suffering a nasty cut on his leg against Tampa Bay back on March 17th. He did not wear his equipment however, and elected to skate in sweats.
Backes was also the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterson Trophy, which is awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game.
Zdeno Chara (Upper Body), Jake DeBrusk (Upper Body) and Charlie McAvoy(Knee) all continue to skate a progress towards returning. Bruce Cassidy stated on Monday that the trio could possibly return as soon as this weekend.
Rick Nash (Upper Body) has not skated and no update was given from the coach other than that he is “the farthest out” among the injured skaters. He has not played since March 17th in Tampa Bay, and some are speculating that his injury is more serious than was originally believed.
Tommy Wingels was bumped up to the second line this morning, skating with Krejci and Ryan Donato. Wingels played on the third line against Minnesota on Sunday. Cassidy said that the lineup tinkering was due in part to the injuries and trying different looks while keeping Heinen and Nash together.
Anton Khudobin will start tonight in net.
Marchand – Bergeron- Pastrnak
Donato – Krejci – Wingels
Heinen – Nash – Gionta
Schaller – Kuraly – Acciari
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Miller
Holden – McQuaid