The Bruins had so much fun in the double-overtime win in Game 1 on Wednesday afternoon that they plan to do it all over again for Game 2.
Bruce Cassidy indicated that Tuukka Rask will get the back-to-back starts for the Bruins on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Toronto Bubble, and that he expects to use the same lineup, though there are a couple of B’s players getting treatment in the morning.
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“There were probably three factors: How is Tuukka feeling coming out of the game? He felt fine. Was there a lot of wear and tear to the point where recovery would take more than 24 or 48 hours? I don’t think so. We were pretty clean in front of him without a lot of demanding stretches. Still, it was four periods of hockey and he needs to be on his toes the whole game.
“Back-to-back decisions are a lot to do with travel and short night’s sleep and we don’t have to deal with any of those factors. We’re just to the rink and then back to the hotel. So that’s got a lot to do with it.”
There may be a better chance that the Bruins go with Jaroslav Halak next week in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday if the Bruins are up in the series headed into a Game 5 situation against the Hurricanes.
That means going back with the same No. 1 goaltender after Rask stopped 25-of-28 shots and sticking with left winger Nick Ritchie after he was on ice for a couple of goals against in a lackluster all-around performance. He did finish with four hits including one that rattled Carolina D-man Joel Edmundson and picked up an assist while going to the front of the net on Charlie Coyle’s goal, but Ritchie was a weak link along the boards in the D-zone that needs to get addressed.
“I think on the first [Carolina] goal, Nick Ritchie certainly had a chance to kill the play. Charlie Coyle is caught on defense because [Charlie] McAvoy was up ice,” said Cassidy. “At the end of the day if that’s a ‘D’ I think he helps Ritchie and that play is dead as it’s a 1-on-5. From there Anders comes into the pile thinking Ritchie is going to kill it, so he’s on the wrong side of the ice instead of returning to the middle. It looked like one harmless play, and then a couple of breakdowns — the Ritchie battle and the Bjork route — and they’re in a line change and getting to the middle of the ice with fresh legs and they make a play.
“But they did a lot of things well in the offensive zone. They obviously scored a goal for us, had some looks and Anders Bjork was all alone in front of the net point blank on a great look from Coyle. They obviously haven’t been together for that long, so we’ll give them some time to grow together as a [third] line. All in all, I thought they were better than they were bad, but they were just victimized for a couple goals.”
Here’s the Bruins' expected lineup for Game 2 against the Hurricanes on Thursday night:
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||David Pastrnak|
|Jake DeBrusk||David Krejci||Ondrej Kase|
|Nick Ritchie||Charlie Coyle||Anders Bjork|
|Joakim Nordstrom||Sean Kuraly||Chris Wagner|
|Zdeno Chara||Charlie McAvoy|
|Torey Krug||Brandon Carlo|
|Matt Grzelcyk||Jeremy Lauzon|