Ahead of a pivotal Game 3 in Sunrise, Florida, Friday night, Boston Bruins Head Coach has had a busy morning. During the morning skate, the line combinations for Boston appear drastically different than in the first two games of their series with Florida. Montgomery also provided updates on two of Boston’s most important players.
Montgomery told the media Friday morning that captain Patrice Bergeron, who has not played in this series, remained in Boston as the center recovers from an upper-body injury that he tweaked in the regular season finale in Montreal. Questions about the need to play in that meaningless game have swirled but were tempered Thursday when Dominic Taino reported that Bergeron wanted to be in his native Quebec due to his father fighting cancer and the desire for his father to watch him play live in Montreal. Talking to the media Friday, Montgomery mentioned that it was a “well thought plan” to let Bergeron play and that the Bruins would follow the same route again if presented.
The Bruins coach did add that Bergeron is “likely” to play in Game 5 in Boston Wednesday night. In advance of Game 3, here were Bruins line rushes at the morning skate:
Brad Marchand–Charlie Coyle–Trent Frederic
Taylor Hall–Pavel Zacha–David Pastrnak
Tyler Bertuzzi–David Krejci–Jake DeBrusk
Jakub Lauko–Tomas Nosek–Garnet Hathaway
AJ Greer–Oskar Steen–Nick Foligno
You will notice that goaltender Linus Ullmark was also absent from the morning skate, and Montgomery confirmed that Ullmark is a game-time decision in Game 3. Ullmark allowed five goals in Game 2 and seems to be nursing a minor injury after recovering from an illness last week. Jeremy Swayman would start in his absence. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will see his first action of the series in place of Connor Clifton. Grzelcyk was second in the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-46 this season. Jakub Lauko will play his first career postseason game after scoring four goals with three assists in 23 regular season games in place of Nick Foligno.
A lot of changes for Boston as the Bruins look to take home-ice advantage back from the Panthers at 7:30 pm eastern Friday night in Sunrise, Florida.