NEWARK – On the heels of a playoff berth, the Bruins return Tuesday night to finish two-game in a row with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center
Jaroslav Halak will receive the call between the pipes for his first start since April 3 The goalkeeper, who missed about two weeks on the COVID protocol list, made an appearance last month, a stint of 17 minutes in B’s loss to Buffalo on April 23
“In our discussion, Jaro vs Swayman, [goaltending coach Bob Essensa] felt [Halak] had done his job and was ready to go,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “So this is the direction we are going to take tonight”
Brandon Carlo will also join the roster after missing the last 18 games with an oblique injury The Blue Liner has only played two games since March 5
Other changes to the Bruins’ lineup include the return of Mike Reilly, who missed Monday night’s victory in maintenance, and Trent Frederic, who has only teamed up twice since April 6.
With Carlo, Reilly and Frédéric, Jakub Zboril, Kevan Miller and Karson Kuhlman will be scratched
“The plan was to get Reilly back in I thought Jakub played really solid, he hadn’t played in a while,” Cassidy said of the young blue player, who had an assist, two shots on the ball. goal and a grade of plus-2 Monday night
“We had a good game so it’s a good problem to have when the guys come in and play well But he’s the one who’s going out because [Matt Grzelcyk] and [Jeremy] Lauzon will be staying. what our back-end will look like “
One of Cassidy’s priorities over the last five games of the regular season has been finding the right combinations in the back.Injuries have kept the Bruins from functioning with their desired six pack of blue liners in recent weeks, but with the return of Carlo, the hope is that chemistry can start to develop
“I think we’ve experimented, obviously, who’s the best D-partner for Reilly,” Cassidy said “I don’t think it bothers bad at all It’ll probably be our six if everyone’s okay. health It’s just who goes with who, it depends on the match “
On goal, Cassidy said he expects Tuukka Rask to play two of the last five games
“It won’t be back to back, we won’t put it in there,” Cassidy said. “We didn’t put him in that position all year before the playoffs, so probably wouldn’t not in the Washington game After that we’re going to sort out who gets which game Let’s see how Jaro is doing tonight, where his game is first and foremost
“We know Tuukka is on his game and we know [Jeremy] Swayman played well for us too A little bit will depend on Jaro… but you can plan after tonight Tuukka gets two of the last four And then we’ll see where Swayman and Jaro fit in after that “
Cassidy also mentioned that he’ll probably find time to rest some of the Bruins’ top players, but that won’t be until next week.
“We didn’t really think about that [for] tonight, to be honest with you,” Cassidy said. “We thought last night wasn’t a grueling game in a matter of minutes for the squad. attackers We tried to balance, we were able to do it We can review it next week, Monday through Tuesday
“How do we do that split? Part of it will depend on, when are we going to open? Where are we going to open? This is something to be determined and it will be a conversation with the players. What’s at stake? What if we were going to Washington and it was a first place game? Or a home advantage game?
“So we have to consider the stakes before making this decision But first and foremost it will go to the health of the players. Where are they, how are they feeling? And then we’ll go from there”
The third line in the Bruins’ new look, consisting of Nick Ritchie, Sean Kuraly and Charlie Coyle, appears to be gaining momentum as the playoffs approach All three have found the back of the net in the last three games – Ritchie has scored two with Kuraly and Coyle nicking one each – and put together extended offensive zone time with strong puck possession
“I think we needed some sort of closed, inverted line,” Cassidy said “And usually these guys are straight line guys who will keep the game simple and play behind each other’s D’s. team to stop the bleeding a bit, sometimes if you don’t handle the pucks change the physical nature of the game That was the request with Rtichie, Kuraly and Coyle
“You still enjoy the low scoring part [six], just like we value the controlling part at the top when they don’t have the puck, but identify yourself a little better. you’re gonna do for the team, and that’s what they did and they added the score, which is a lot more fun, when you’re rewarded for your offensive efforts that was the thought behind that
“The playoffs are coming, this style of play is becoming more prevalent I think you need people to go there and be able to do it in parts of the game or establish it early in the game for that matter so far they have answered very well “
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