NEW YORK CITY – It’s a good thing that Brad Marchand is making his return from suspension on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers seeing as Frank Vatrano has been added to the injured list with a lower-body injury. Vatrano exited midway through Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings and will be the odd man out of the Black and Gold lineup in order to make room for No. 63 in his return for Boston.
Marchand will, of course, return to his spot on the Bruins top line after Danton Heinen did a bang-up job as a point-per-game player in the five games substituting for him with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. That should put all of the rest of the forward lines close to normal as well, though both Kevan Miller (upper body) and Noel Acciari (lower body) remain out with the B’s eyeing a potential return for one or both this weekend.
“They’re out tonight. We’ll look at them for maybe Saturday or Sunday,” said Cassidy. “Frank Vatrano is out with a lower body.”
Vatrano finished with just 4:53 of ice time in the win over the Red Wings, and had one shot on net before exiting with the injury. The lower body issue ends a string of five games played in a row for Vatrano, also in Marchand’s absence, where the 23-year-old went scoreless skating on the fourth line after a couple of months’ worth of healthy scratches. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Rangers as the Bruins look to make it four wins in a row with Anton Khudobin between the pipes against the Blueshirts: