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Johansson, Moore Closing in on Returns

Both could be game-time decisions for pivotal Game 4 in Toronto

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

TORONTO - As they prepare for a pivotal Game 4 in Toronto on Wednesday night, the Bruins could have some reinforcements on the way.

Marcus Johansson (illness) and John Moore (upper-body) both practiced in full on Tuesday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum and could be in the lineup as Boston tries to even up its best-of-seven first-round series with the Maple Leafs at two games apiece.

"[Johansson] made it through practice, skated a little extra," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Obviously feeling better, he looks like he has some color again. But again, until he shows up tomorrow healthy he'll be a game-time decision. But encouraging, at least, that he's here today working with the group.

"Johnny Moore went through the whole practice in a normal color jersey - encouraging again. Tomorrow if he has no ill effects, he'll be a game-time decision as well."

Video: Johansson speaks to media after practice

Johansson, who sat out Games 2 and 3, met the team on Tuesday morning after staying away for several days in order to prevent the spread of whatever was ailing him. The winger practiced in his familiar third-line left wing spot, alongside Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen.

"Just got sick real bad, not much you can do about it," said Johansson, who also took reps with the second power-play unit. "It is what it is. It's bad timing and not a fun part of the year to get that...feeling better now. Good to be here with the team and be able to skate.

"It's moving in the right direction. It was good to be out there today and get a little sweat in. Hopefully [I'm in for Game 4]."

Moore, meanwhile, has not played since March 25 in Tampa Bay when he suffered an upper-body injury after a heavy hit into the boards from Lightning forward Adam Erne.

"We've kind of targeted this time," said Moore, who was partnered with Matt Grzelcyk during Tuesday's practice. "We were able to get ahead of it and have a timeline and kind of exceeded expectations. I feel really good and hopefully be ready to go tomorrow."

The blue liner was off the ice for nearly 10 days following the injury, but was able to work out in the gym and ride the stationary bike to keep up with his conditioning. The toughest part, Moore said, was having to watch the first three games of the postseason from afar.

"It's difficult, especially being in a close series like this, to be removed from any possible contribution. It's really tough to sit and watch," said Moore. "But you try to be a good teammate and make sure that you're bringing good energy around the guys and when you come into the rink, working hard and pushing guys."

Sean Kuraly (hand) joined the team toward the end of Tuesday's practice, but is not yet ready for game action, per Cassidy. Connor Clifton was on the ice for the full session in a maroon non-contact jersey.

Video: Moore speaks to media after practice

Holding Firm

Despite a slow offensive start to the series at even strength, Cassidy kept his first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak intact during Tuesday's practice. He did acknowledge that things could change quickly if there are similar results in Game 4, but is hoping the trio's meeting with the coaching staff before the session helps guide them in the right direction.

"[Assistant coach Jay [Pandolfo] meets with these guys probably every three weeks [or] 10 to 12 games," said Cassidy. "They like to go over some stuff, they're real coachable…we just want to get them back on the same page. I think they like structure, they crave it, and then they add that to their creativity and off they go.

"This isn't some five-alarm meeting with them, it's a simple revisiting basics, what can we do against Toronto that's playing them hard, to help them create a little offense."

Video: Cassidy speaks to media after practice

While they have managed just one five-on-five goal through three games - with two more on the power play - the line has been able to limit Toronto's top triumvirate of Zach Hyman, John Tavares, and Mitch Marner.

"I think they recognize where they've left offense on the table…they've done a good job of limiting Marner and Tavares, they're good offensive players," said Cassidy. "It's been a battle that way, two good offensive lines, good defensively, but can't seem to get it going offensively. I think that's where the power play can give them some juice. We didn't have it last night on the power play."

Bergeron, who has two power-play goals in the series, said the group must embrace the challenge of overcoming their offensive troubles.

"You'll face adversity, it's just the way it is," said Bergeron. "That's what hockey is all about. You have to thrive on it. It's one of those things where it's one game. You try to make the adjustments that are necessary. I'm talking about as a team - and that's what we did today."

Video: Bergeron speaks to media after practice

Tuesday's Practice Lineup

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrank
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Karson Kuhlman
Marcus Johansson - Charlie Coyle - Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom - Noel Acciari - Chris Wagner
David Backes - Paul Carey

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - John Moore
Jakub Zboril - Steven Kampfer
Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask
Jaroslav Halak
Daniel Vladar

Video: Coyle speaks to media after practice

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