BOSTON (CBS) —  The Bruins need to win Thursday night to force a Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes. It sounds like Boston will have its top defensive pairing intact for Game 6.

Hampus Lindholm was part of the Bruins’ Thursday morning lines, skating next to his usual defensive partner in crime, Charlie McAvoy. Lindholm, who been out since Game 2 when he took a massive hit from Canes forward Andrei Svechnikov, sounded ready to go for Thursday night’s tilt.

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There was some hope that he would be back earlier this week after Lindholm skated in Brighton on Monday, but he did not make the trip to Raleigh for Tuesday’s Game 5 loss. Lindholm spoke for the first time since the hit on Thursday, and said that he started feeling better shortly after the hit.

“Luckily I’m in shape enough to take [the hit] in a good way and it wasn’t worse,” he said.

He wasn’t a fan of sitting out, and cannot wait to hit the ice again.

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“This time of the year you want to be out there,” he said. “It’s not fun sitting in the stands or watching on TV, so I’m glad to be out there.”

With Lindholm on the ice Thursday morning, Matt Grzelcyk was the odd man out on the blue line. Cassidy wouldn’t confirm that Lindholm would be in the lineup Thursday, but did say that Grzelcyk is a bit banged up.

Cassidy tinkered with his forward lines as well Thursday morning, bumping Jake DeBrusk back up to the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, while David Pastrnak was on the second line with Eric Haula and Taylor Hall. Trent Frederick was back on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith.

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The Bruins will look to stave off elimination on Thursday night, with the puck set to drop at TD Garden around 7 p.m.

CBSBoston.com Staff