Joakim Nordstrom

Joakim Nordstrom set to make his return for Bruins vs. Canadiens

Joakim Nordstrom set to make his return for Bruins vs. Canadiens

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins have a tough schedule in the month of February with five sets of back-to-back games, so utilizing their roster depth will be an important part of getting through it.

With that in mind, it’s a good development that energy winger Joakim Nordstrom is healthy and ready to return to the Bruins lineup against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.

Nordstrom has missed the last handful of games with a condition related to his allergies, but has returned to practice and is ready to resume game action this week.

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It remains to be seen which players might be coming out of the lineup as Bruce Cassidy jumbled around his third and fourth line forwards at Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, but Nordstrom will definitely be back in for the Black and Gold.

“I expect Nordstrom to play tomorrow,” said Cassidy of Nordstrom, who has four goals and seven points in 39 games this season while providing gritty intangibles like shot-blocking and penalty killing. “[Connor Clifton] skated with the team, has progressed well and no ill effects that I’ve heard of. He’s not going to play [vs. Montreal]. He’s not ready for that. But he keeps progressing for us.”

Clifton skated without any restrictions at Tuesday’s practice and could be in line for a return from his upper body injury at some point this week as well. The Bruins sent defenseman Jeremy Lauzon down to Providence on Monday with a pending two-game suspension hanging over his head, and he was not at Bruins practice on Tuesday as a result.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and defense pairings for Wednesday’s game vs. the Habs based on Tuesday’s practice session:

PROJECTED LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Karson Kuhlman
Nordstrom/Heinen Charlie Coyle Anders Bjork
Anton Blidh Kuraly/Lindholm Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk John Moore

STARTING GOALIE

Jaroslav Halak

Bruins' Danton Heinen a healthy scratch against Canucks, Nordstrom out (allergies)

Bruins' Danton Heinen a healthy scratch against Canucks, Nordstrom out (allergies)

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins made certain to transform their roster into a more competitive situation ahead of the All-Star/bye week break, and now they are making good on it by rotating players in and out of the lineup.

It will be Danton Heinen’s turn to sit again on Tuesday night against the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden after he sat out last weekend’s win over Minnesota with a gimpy foot after blocking a shot in Friday night’s win over Winnipeg.

Bruce Cassidy confirmed it was performance-related with Heinen, who has one point in his last five games and one goal scored in his last 16 games.

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Instead, Sean Kuraly will replace him on the third line after taking his turn as a healthy scratch Saturday against Minnesota, and the Bruins fourth line will instead consist of Anton Blidh, Par Lindholm and Chris Wagner.

“[Heinen] was a little banged up the other night. He took a shot off the in-step. The guys that were in, Lindholm and Bjork, played very well [against Minnesota] so they’re going to stay in,” said Cassidy. “So there was one spot open with Kuraly going in and tomorrow we will re-assess.”

Joakim Nordstrom will miss the next two games with an “allergy-related condition” that has doctors advising him to stay off the ice for the time being.

Young D-man Jeremy Lauzon will stay in the Boston lineup after an impressive couple of games with John Moore serving as a healthy scratch, and Tuukka Rask will get the start against the Canucks while backup Jaroslav Halak will get the starting nod against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Wednesday night.

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Canucks based on Tuesday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena:

PROJECTED LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Karson Kuhlman
Sean Kuraly Charlie Coyle Anders Bjork
Anton Blidh Par Lindholm Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Jeremy Lauzon

PROJECTED STARTER

Tuukka Rask

Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed) misses practice, questionable vs. Canucks

Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed) misses practice, questionable vs. Canucks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins are just a couple of games back from a 10-day break in the schedule, so they are relatively healthy with just fourth liner Joakim Nordstrom missing from practice on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.

Nordstrom was out for “a maintenance day” per head coach Bruce Cassidy after the Bruins had a day away from the rink on Sunday. So, chances are that the fourth-line winger will be out for Tuesday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Nordstrom played in each of the last two wins over Winnipeg and Minnesota and picked up an assist in the 6-1 win over the Wild on Saturday night. But he clearly got banged up during his 12:59 of ice time.

“It was a maintenance day today. I don’t know how he’ll be tomorrow, so we’ll have to see,” said Cassidy, who would likely go with Anton Blidh, Par Lindholm and Chris Wagner on the fourth line if Nordstrom is unable to play against the Canucks.

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Danton Heinen missed Saturday’s game with an injury, but he was back at practice on Monday with the rest of the Bruins and looks ready to go against the Canucks on Tuesday night.

Sean Kuraly was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s win and looks like he will be competing with Heinen for the left wing spot on the third line. The Bruins are looking for more consistency out of the usual fourth line center that has 17 points in 52 games along with a minus-4 rating this season.

“It’s just [the challenge] to consistently get it out of him backing D off on the attack, and the penalty kill,” said Cassidy, when asked about Kuraly. “That’s what we’re looking for on a more consistent basis. I don’t know if he’s looking offense more than he had in the past and that’s affected his game. We just want him to play like his consistent self and good things are going to happen.

"I think [the fourth line] has lost a bit of the O-zone puck possession game where they were wearing teams down just by forcing them to defend. Hopefully they can find that again.”

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Canucks based on the line rushes at Monday’s practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman

Heinen/Kuraly-Coyle-Bjork

Blidh-Lindholm-Wagner

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

 

Rask