BRIGHTON, Mass. – Bruce Cassidy wasn’t tipping his hand early on any lineup changes for Game 4 Friday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden and the Bruins practiced with a couple of key B’s taking maintenance days off the ice.
Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk were missing from the Warrior Ice Arena practice ice on Thursday and Cassidy indicated he won’t be making the final call on any lineup decisions until they’re both good to go on Friday.
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“They were maintenance days, so we’ll see how they are in the morning. I assume they’ll be fine tomorrow [for Game 4], but we’ll see then,” said Cassidy. “We’ll assess them in the morning, and we’ll probably tinker [with the lineup], but I’m not going to tell you who is going in or out now because we’ve got to get the healthy guys sorted out first, and then we’ll go from there.”
From the looks of practice Thursday, it appears that Ryan Donato, Brian Gionta or Nick Holden could be getting the call for a pivotal Game 4 after the B’s bench boss admitted his team was “outworked” in dropping Game 3 4-1 on home ice to trail 2-1 in the second-round series. That’s the kind of talk that will usually precipitate some lineup changes of one kind or another, but that won’t be finalized until Friday ahead of a must-win Game 4 for the Bruins.
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Cassidy did say, for all the Tuukka Rask haters out there, that Boston’s No. 1 goaltender would be back between the pipes after he has put together three pretty solid outings in the series.
Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings from practice with the Bruins skating for about 30 minutes while missing Marchand and DeBrusk: