BOSTON (CBS) — Bruce Cassidy will rely on his top players to keep the Bruins afloat in the playoffs on Monday night, but Boston’s bottom line could look a lot different in Game 5 against the Lightning. Sean Kuraly is a game-time decision on Monday after partaking in Boston’s morning skate.
Kuraly has missed Boston’s last two games with an undisclosed injury, though the fourth-line centerman hit the ice both Sunday and Monday. His return would be pretty important for the Bruins, as Chris Wagner was already ruled out for Game 5 on Sunday. Wagner did not play in the final period of Boston’s 3-1 Game 4 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Third-line forward Nick Ritchie is also a question mark for Boston on Monday with an undisclosed injury. While he was on the ice Monday morning, he did not skate Sunday. Cassidy said that Kuraly and Ritchie participated on Monday with “varying results.”
Cassidy said that if Kuraly can’t play Monday night, he’ll go with a fourth line centered by Par Lindholm with Joakim Nordstrom and Karlsonn Kuhlman on the wings. He would send out Anders Bjork and Jack Studnicka with Charlie Coyle for Boston’s third line if Ritchie is sidelined, with no changes to Boston’s top two lines.
The Bruins have lost three straight after winning Game 1 over the Lightning and will be fighting for their playoff lives on Monday, hoping to force a Game 6 on Wednesday.