WASHINGTON - The Bruins will be aiming to even up their first-round series at a game apiece on Monday night in Game 2 against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Boston is looking to up the urgency level after struggling to find its offensive game in Saturday's series-opening setback.
"That's the message for today's game," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "We dealt with some stuff during practice [on Sunday], tactically, that we thought we could do better, so that's out of the way now. It's a little between the ears in terms of mindset…it's playoff hockey and let's leave it all out there and be a little harder on the puck and not overthink where we are necessarily. Let's play our game and play it hard."
Cassidy added that he believes his club might have been a bit hesitant to engage physically early on in Game 1 as they attempted to stay out of the box and avoid giving Washington's potent power play too many opportunities.
Video: Bruce Cassidy talks Game 2 against the Capitals
"We want to stay out of the box because of their power play, and I think we did both of those things," said Cassidy, whose club took just one penalty in Game 1. "Unfortunately, we didn't do enough attacking when the situation was there. We had opportunities to be more physical at times. I think we certainly got our share of hits as the game went on.
"But early on we could have established a little more of that. I think we were a little bit apprehensive on going to the box. We've had one of those years where we seem to get called for a lot. We're kind of urging it out of them as the game goes on and, hopefully, we start on our toes a little more.
"That doesn't mean just driving guys through the end boards, it just means winning those 50/50 pucks that allow you to get going, getting inside to get the rebound chance that's sitting there."
Here's everything else you need to know ahead of the 7:30 p.m. ET puck drop on NESN, NBCSN, and 98.5 The Sports Hub:
Jeremy Lauzon will not suit up for Game 2 after suffering an injury on a blocked shot in the series opener on Saturday night. Connor Clifton will sub in and play the left side on Boston's third pairing with Kevan Miller.
"The last game he played, I thought he had good and bad stretches, which we're trying to eliminate from Cliffy, more consistency," Cassidy said of Clifton's play in the regular-season finale against the Caps. "Less is more at times. When the opportunity arises a couple times a period, you have to make your play…he's in and out for a reason, we got healthy, we knew that our three right shot guys were definitely ahead of him.
"Now he's going in on the left. That was a decision we had to make. [Jakub] Zboril, obviously, was injured. Then it became, is it [Jarred] Tinordi or [Urho] Vaakanainen? We went with Cliffy because he's played there before this year. Had good stretches early in the year with Kevan Miller and [Brandon] Carlo, both on the left side.
"He's been in our lineup in the playoffs before. Let's see how it works out, hopefully he just plays a good solid game for us."
Lauzon and Miller got the majority of the matchups against Alex Ovechkin's line in Game 1, but with the change to the third pairing, Cassidy could turn that assignment over to Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy.
"Maybe just being a little bit more aware, play with my head up, know who I'm playing against," Grzelcyk said when asked how that matchup might change his approach. "I think I have success in those aspects when I'm moving my feet, using that part of my game to my advantage. It's a little bit tougher when we're standing toe to toe trying to box guys out in front of the net.
"If I can use my smarts to kind of angle them off into the corner, use my footspeed and try to get under their hands and break the puck up and get going the other way, as long as we break the puck out and play clean with it, start going the other way, the less time I have to worry about that."
Video: Grzelcyk talks countering Capitals physicality
Center Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalie Ilya Samsonov skated on Monday morning after spending the last couple of weeks in COVID-19 protocols. Coach Peter Laviolette called it "a real positive" that they were on the ice but would not reveal their status for a return to game action.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek, who left Game 1 with an injury, remains day-to-day. The Washington Post reported that Craig Anderson was the first goalie off the ice for morning skate on Monday, indicating that he will be back between the pipes after taking over on Saturday night.
By the Numbers
Patrice Bergeron will play his 151st Stanley Cup Playoff game tonight, moving him past Zdeno Chara into second place on the team's all-time postseason games played list.
The Bruins entered this series with a 38-18 record in best-of-seven series in which they have won Game 1 and a 15-34 record in series in which they have lost Game 1.
Video: Krejci talks upcoming Game 2
Monday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie - Sean Kuraly - Charlie Coyle
Jake DeBrusk - Curtis Lazar - Chris Wagner
Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly - Brandon Carlo
Connor Clifton - Kevan Miller
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Anthony Mantha
Conor Sheary - Lars Eller - Michael Rafft
Daniel Sprong - T.J. Oshie - Tom Wilson
Carl Hagelin - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway
Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson
Brenden Dillon - Justin Schultz
Zdeno Chara - Nick Jensen
Video: Clifton and Bruins Ready For Game 2