It’s do or die for the Bruins tonight, and the team will apparently be facing some last-minute lineup decisions before Game 5 begins.
Per Bruce Cassidy at his media availability this afternoon, forward Chris Wagner is out tonight.
Additionally, both Sean Kuraly and Nick Ritchie are game-time decisions. Kuraly, you’ll remember, has missed time due to injury, while Ritchie may have picked something up in the Game 4 loss.
If Kuraly and Ritchie are out, they’ll be replaced by Par Lindholm and Jack Studnicka, it appears.
Cassidy indicated that Lindholm, Joakim Nordstrom, and Karson Kuhlman would be the new fourth line, while Studnicka would play on the third line with Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle.
I’m of the opinion that the lineup without Kuraly and Ritchie looks a bit more potent than the lineup with them in the mix, but who knows...the Bruins seem determined to prove that Ritchie was brought here to play playoff hockey.
Cassidy alluded to no changes on defense.
With the assumption that Kuraly and Ritchie are out, here’s what to expect:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Ondrej Kase
Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Jack Studnicka
Joakim Nordstrom - Par Lindholm - Karson Kuhlman
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Jaroslav Halak will be in net.
If Kuraly and Ritchie play, you’ll likely end up seeing Bjork - Coyle - Ritchie, Nordstrom - Kuraly - Kuhlman, at least to start.
So there you have it! Is this bubble bursting, or is this group good enough to force a Game 6?