DETROIT – The Bruins will be without both David Pastrnak and Trent Frederic on Tuesday night when they cap their back-to-back with a matchup against the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Both wingers exited Monday’s win in Columbus with Frederic in the second period with what leaving the team termed an upper-body injury and Pastrnak in the third with what appeared to be an aggravation of a previous ailment.
“[Pastrnak] had an injury there against Winnipeg [last month]goalie exchange with [Linus] Ullmark that flared up one day. I don’t know if this is the exact same thing or not – I just found out,” Cassidy said on Tuesday morning. “It might be that he hasn’t completely healed. If that ends up being the case – if that’s the message we get that he’s gonna need whatever amount of time to get it right…I don’t think it’s long-term, but we’ll put him as day-to-day. But who knows?”
Given that the Bruins are safely nestled into a playoff spot with just 13 games remaining in the regular season, Cassidy acknowledged that the team is in a good position to allow players time to manage any bumps and bruises.
“We’ve got some big games coming up, obviously, this week…next week, the week after,” said Cassidy. “But the bigger ones are down the road for us. We’d have to look at that big picture for sure.”
With Pastrnak and Frederic both sidelined, the B’s lineup will feature a number of changes up front. Tomas Nosek will shift up to Pastrnak’s spot as the second-line right wing alongside Taylor Hall and Eric Haulawhile Nick Foligno will bump up to take Frederic’s place as the third-line left wing alongside Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith.
Boston’s fourth trio will feature the “young line,” as Cassidy put it, with Jack Studnicka centering Anton Blidh and Marc McLaughlin. As such, Curtis Lazar will also be out of the lineup, though Cassidy was not asked about whether or not it was injury related.
On the back end, Derek Forbort will return after missing one game with a lower-body injury with Mike Rilly shifting to the right side of the B’s third pair. Josh Brownwho played 14:59 against the Blue Jackets on Monday night, and Connor Cliftonwho has sat out three straight games, will be the healthy scratches.
“The thing about Cliffy is we know his game,” said Cassidy. “He’s out a little bit more because we don’t know Brown, first of all – he’s gonna get more looks – and we haven’t seen Reilly on the right side a lot. There’s a little bit of that going on, evaluation.
“[Clifton] will get back in, but right now we have some other people we have to look at in that spot on the third pair right side being Brown and Reilly.”
Video: Cassidy gives updates before the B’s play DET
Lindholm Settling In
With his assist on Jake DeBrusk‘s OT winner in Columbus on Monday night, Hampus Lindholm now has helpers in three straight games and four of his six contests with the Black & Gold. And while his offensive prowess has certainly been evident, it’s been the entire package – instincts, gaps, breakouts, net-front coverage – that has really impressed Cassidy.
“It really seems like he’s comfortable playing for us, our style of play. He’s playing on his toes every night,” said Cassidy. “His gaps are excellent in the neutral zone. The play he made [Monday] to get a breakaway is just something we’ve been preaching from Day 1 about our D to get up, close your gaps, our forwards are reloading well. But he just has the confidence to do it because he pivots well, he skates well, can recover. Some of those guys are just special talents and he’s one of them.
“He’s really helped the offensive side of things. You saw it in overtime, you saw it in numerous plays at the offensive blue line – a lot of offense generated from the D. Might not necessarily translate into points all the time, but the forwards are excited to play when he’s on the ice. [McAvoy]. I think it’s really helped.
“Defensively he’s been rock solid…he’s not a guy that’s reckless at all.”
Now six games into his Bruins tenure, Lindholm is feeling more and more at home with each passing day.
“Coming from the outside, you always thought of the Bruins as an organization that wants to compete and win championships,” said Lindholm. “Just being around, you see the little details from staff, from trainers, from coaches, from everyone, I would say, is bringing that little bit of edge and wanting to win.
“I couldn’t expect it to be any better, how they’ve been taken me in. I’ve been having a good season so far and coming here to an even better team, just being able to trust my instincts a little bit more in a way, just go out and play some hockey.
“It’s been huge for me and a confidence booster. Obviously playing with some really good players on this team, everyone makes each other better out there.”
The Red Wings have dropped six straight games, including both ends of a home-and-home with Ottawa by identical scores of 5-2. During the losing streak, Detroit has allowed five or more goals in five of the six games.
Entering Tuesday’s matchup – the final meeting between the teams this season – the Red Wings are 26-34-9 with 61 points, tied with Buffalo for fifth in the Atlantic Division.
Dylan Larkin paces the Red Wings with 29 goals and 64 points in 64 games, while Tyler Bertuzzi (26-28-54) and rookie Lucas Raymond (22-30-52) have also crossed the 50-point plateau. Rookie blue liner Mo Seider, who has been a revelation on the back end and one of the top contenders – along with Raymond – for the Calder Trophy, is fourth in team scoring with 44 points (5 goals, 39 assists) in 69 games.
“They’re a team a little bit like what we saw with Jersey and Columbus that they’re playing for different things this time of year,” said Cassidy. “We know they’ve got their high-end talent that’s dangerous. [Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic] always seems to play well against us if he’s in nets tonight. For us, honestly, it’s more about us right now.
“Some of the things we need to correct from last night – there’s probably at least two or three things on the checklist that we can do a lot better and we’ll work on those tonight and still be mindful of what Detroit does well…good team speed, some guys at the top of the lineup that can hurt you. We’ve just got to be prepared to check those guys well but take care of our game more than anything.”
Tuesday’s Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – Tomas Nosek
Nick Foligno – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Anton Blidh – Jack Studnicka – Marc McLaughlin
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Mike Reilly