The Boston Bruins have no more room for error. They have to win Game 6 of their second-round playoff series against the New York Islanders on Wednesday night or Boston's season will come to an end.
The Islanders closed out their first-round series against the Penguins in Game 6 at Nassau Coliseum after winning a pivotal Game 5 on the road, and they are hoping history repeats itself tonight.
The most interesting storyline for the Bruins entering Wednesday's matchup is goaltending. No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask was pulled from Game 5 after two periods and replaced by rookie Jeremy Swayman. B's head coach Bruce Cassidy said after Game 5 that Rask wasn't 100 percent when he was taken out.
Cassidy confirmed after Wednesday's morning skate that Rask will start Game 6.
“He’s ready to go. So that’s it. It’s that simple," Cassidy said of Rask. "He’s our starting goalie and he’s healthy and ready to go. Let’s hope he’s on tonight and we’re better in front of him than in Game 5.”
The Bruins made a lineup change in Game 5 by inserting Karson Kuhlman at right wing on the third line and removing Jake DeBrusk. DeBrusk will re-enter the lineup after Curtis Lazar was ruled out due to injury, Cassidy said Wednesday. Lazar has been the fourth-line center all playoffs for Boston but he left Game 5 with an apparent knee injury and didn't return.
Boston also has ruled out veteran defensemen Brandon Carlo and Kevan Miller, who are both nursing injuries.
Here are the projected lines and pairings for Bruins vs. Islanders Game 6.
Brad Marchand--Patrice Bergeron--David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall--David Krejci--Craig Smith
Jake DeBrusk--Charlie Coyle--Karson Kuhlman
Nick Ritchie--Sean Kuraly--Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk--Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly--Jeremy Lauzon
Jarred Tinordi--Connor Clifton
Tuukka Rask (starter), Jeremy Swayman (backup)
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Leo Komarov--Matthew Barzal--Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier--Brock Nelson--Josh Bailey
Kyle Palmieri--John-Gabriel Pageau--Travis Zajac
Matt Martin--Casey Cizikas--Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech--Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy--Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene--Noah Dobson
Semyon Varlamov (starter), Ilya Sorokin (backup)