“Will he or won’t he?” has been the story of the series thus far for David Pastrnak, and for the first time since Game 1, it looks like things are leaning more toward “will.”
Per Bruce Cassidy, Pastrnak is “feeling much better” and will participate in warm-ups before this afternoon’s game.
The plan appears to be to see how he feels after warm-ups and make a call from there.
If he plays, the big question becomes what happens further down the lineup. He’d obviously slot back in at 1RW, meaning Anders Bjork would be without a home.
If Bjork bumps down to the third line, that would likely push Jack Studnicka out of the lineup. The other option would be to push Sean Kuraly back down to the fourth line and remove one of those guys, rolling with a Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Jack Studnicka line.
We’ll roll with the most likely scenario, which would be Pastrnak in, Bjork down, Studnicka out, with the understanding that it remains up in the air.
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase
Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle - Anders Bjork
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner
Cassidy didn’t mention any changes on defense, so it looks like things will remain the same back there.
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Jaroslav Halak will be in net.
I haven’t seen much about Carolina’s lineup for today, but my guess would be Petr Mrazek gets the start in net.
See ya in a few hours!