BOSTON (CBS) — Jake DeBrusk will be back in the Bruins lineup for Wednesday night’s must-win Game 6 against the Islanders in New York. The struggling forward will play on Boston’s third line, head coach Bruce Cassidy announced after the team’s morning skate.
DeBrusk will skate alongside Charlie Coyle and Karson Kuhlman. He’ll take over for the injured Curtis Lazar, who suffered a lower-body injury in the Bruins’ Game 5 loss Monday night in Boston.
DeBrusk has been scuffling most of the season and was a healthy scratch for Game 5. He has gone five straight games without recording a point, and has just two goals and one assist in nine playoff games this year. The 24-year-old has not scored in his last seven appearances.
With the team facing elimination, Cassidy said that the message to DeBrusk is pretty simple as he gets another chance to break out of his slump.
“The message is help us win. It’s that simple,” Cassidy said Wednesday morning. “Help us win the game. Shift-to-shift, the puck might find him a lot, so yeah, that might involve scoring. It might never find him all night, so then he has to help keep the puck out of our net, do a good job backchecking, [help on the] defensive side of the puck. You play the game in front of you and help the team win.”
Nick Ritche will also drop down to the fourth line, with Sean Kuraly moving over to center. Cassidy said that he could potentially flip DeBrusk and Ritchie depending on how Game 6 plays out.
Here is Boston’s potential lineup for Wednesday night, with defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller both out for the contest:
The Islanders lead the series 3-2, with a potential Game 7 set for Friday night in Boston.