Although the team will be without two of their best forwards and leaders, Bruce Cassidy sees it as an opportunity for guys to step up or get more playing minutes and see the response from those players.
Cassidy will keep Erik Haula’s line intact with the three now becoming the B’s top line. Charlie Coyle has shifted up to center the second line with Jake DeBrusk and Craig Smith on his wings.
With Jack Studnicka recalled today and Oskar Steen sent to the Providence Bruins, the bottom-six forwards have been shuffled a bit from practice lines yesterday. Cassidy said Studnicka will slot in at third center and provide a needed right-handed shot on that line between Nick Foligno and Trent Frederic - who’s making his return from injury.
Frederic has missed the last 12 games after sustaining an upper-body injury on January 10. He’s registered five points in 24 games this season.
Anton Blidh also draws back into the lineup on the fourth line.
Defensive pairings will remain the same from Tuesday.
Here’s how the lineup is projected to look:
Taylor Hall - Haula - David Pastrnak
DeBrusk - Coyle - Smith
Frederic - Studnicka - Foligno
Blidh - Tomas Nosek - Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly - Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort - Connor Clifton
Linus Ullmark is projected to get the start