Projected lines, pairings for Bruins ahead of pivotal Game 5 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Will we see Patrice Bergeron make his 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut Wednesday night when the Boston Bruins host the Florida Panthers in Game 5 at TD Garden?
Bergeron will be a “game-time decision” and take part in the pre-game warmups, B’s head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters Wednesday morning. The B’s captain was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice and participated in Wednesday’s optional morning skate. Bergeron told reporters Tuesday that he didn’t anticipate any setbacks. Boston’s No. 1 center has missed each game of this series so far after suffering an upper body injury during the regular season finale versus the Montreal Canadiens.
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Linus Ullmark will start in net for the Bruins. He is one of the main reasons why the Bruins hold a 3-1 series lead with a chance to eliminate the Panthers in Game 5. Ullmark made a playoff career-high 41 saves in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon.
David Krejci skated on his own prior to the optional morning skate Wednesday. He remains out for Game 5.
Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad missed Game 4 due to injury, but Florida head coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday that he’s ready to go for Game 5. Ekblad’s expected return is a huge defensive boost for the Panthers after they gave up 10 goals in Games 3 and 4 combined at FLA Live Arena. Veteran winger Anthony Duclair also is healthy enough to play Wednesday night after not playing Sunday.
Here are the projected lines and pairings for both teams. The Bruins’ lines are very much TBD because we still don’t definitively know if Bergeron will play. If he does, someone will have to come out of the lineup.
BOSTON BRUINS (3-1)
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Jake DeBrusk
Tyler Bertuzzi–Pavel Zacha–David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall–Charlie Coyle–Nick Foligno
Jakub Lauko–Tomas Nosek–Garnet Hathaway
Hampus Lindholm–Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort–Dmitry Orlov
Linus Ullmark (confirmed starter)
FLORIDA PANTHERS (1-3)
Carter Verhaeghe–Aleksander Barkov–Sam Reinhart
Eetu Luostarinen–Sam Bennett–Matthew Tkachuk
Ryan Lomberg–Anton Lundell–Anthony Duclair
Nick Cousins—-Eric Staal–Colin White
Gustav Forsling–Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal–Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura–Radko Gudas
Sergei Bobrovsky (projected starter)