BOSTON -- Sunday's game between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden is more than just a showdown between the teams tied for the most points in the Eastern Conference standings.
It's also the return of forward Michael Ryder for the first time since he won the 2011 Stanley Cup with the Bruins then left for the Dallas Stars as a free agent. Ryder, acquired by the Canadiens in a trade last week, didn't play in Boston last season.
Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly combined with Ryder to provide the Bruins with a formidable third line for most of the club's Cup run.
"He's one of those guys that he skates down the wing and tells you where he's shooting and still scores," Peverley said.
The Bruins held an optional skate and coach Claude Julien said he would make some lineup decisions after the pregame warm-up. Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Julien scratched veteran Shawn Thornton for the first time this season in favor of Jay Pandolfo.
The Canadiens did not skate as a team after flying in after their 7-6 overtime home win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Canadiens:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Jay Pandolfo - Gregory Campbell - Chris Bourque
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid
Scratched: Shawn Thornton, Aaron Johnson, Lane MacDermid
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher
Brandon Prust - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Michael Ryder
Travis Moen - Ryan White - Colby Armstrong
Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin
Francis Bouillon - Josh Gorges
Tomas Kaberle - P.K. Subban
Scratched: Gabriel Dumont, Yannick Weber
Injured: Rene Bourque, Petteri Nokelainen, Raphael Diaz