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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Flyers

Nordstrom, Lindholm return as Boston looks to snap two-game skid

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

BOSTON - The Bruins will be aiming to get back on track and snap their two-game losing skid on Sunday night when they welcome the Philadelphia Flyers to TD Garden.

"I think our guys will bounce back," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, whose team has dropped two straight in regulation for the first time this season. "They've got a lot of pride in there. Losing two in a row, it's kind of unacceptable to stretch it any more than that. I believe we'll be ready to go tonight."

Here is everything else you need to know for the matchup against the Flyers:

Moving Parts

The Bruins will have some reinforcements up front as Joakim Nordstrom (elbow infection) and Par Lindhom (upper body) are both expected to return to the lineup. Nordstrom has not played since Oct. 26 against St. Louis, while Lindholm has been sidelined since Oct. 27 when he left the B's win over the New York Rangers.

With Nordstrom back in the lineup, Cassidy is able to reunite his familiar fourth line of Nordtrom, Sean Kuraly, and Chris Wagner.

"What it does for us is it gets that glue line back together, knowing that I can put them against anybody and get the game tilted back towards us," said Cassidy. "We missed that a bit in Detroit the other night. Our top line, they were effective against them getting the momentum swing back in our favor with some energy and some body contact.

"That gets the group going. And Nordy's apart of that. He has good foot speed there, he gets on top of people, will help our penalty kill, he'll balance out that line."

Video: Nordstrom Speaks Before Sunday's Game vs. PHI

At the same time, Boston will still be without Jake DeBrusk, Brett Ritchie, and David Backes up front. Here are update on each of them, per Cassidy.

  • DeBrusk suffered a lower-body injury during the Bruins' loss in Montreal on Tuesday night and is unlikely to play before next weekend. "He got evaluated. He's out…my guess is he's probably looking at the weekend. Better idea when we get to those practices Wednesday and Thursday," said Cassidy.
  • Ritchie was a late scratch on Friday night and will be sidelined once again with an upper-body injury. "He's not skating today. Upper-body injury, we found out. We'll see how he does. Out tonight," said Cassidy.
  • Backes has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury suffered during a frightening collision with Ottawa's Scott Sabourin last Saturday night. "He's here [at Warrior]. Feeling better. No further update on return to play," said Cassidy."

With Nordstrom and Lindholm expected to be good to go against the Flyers, Peter Cehlarik will be assigned to Providence. Cehlarik picked up his first point of the season - an assist on David Krejci's first-period goal - on Friday night in Detroit.

"Inconsistent," Cassidy said when asked to assess Cehlarik's play during his three games with the big club this season. "Made a good play to Krech the other night. I think when he has space, he's always gonna make plays, He's got to find a way to create space for himself, get better on the walls, manage pucks a little better.

"His forecheck, he had some good moments the other night where he turned over pucks. Other nights his pace has to get better. Early on, he had to get the motor running, which is not easy. He's a big body, but that's just the ask at the NHL level. The game's faster here, he's going to have to get up to speed faster."

Video: Lindholm Talks Before Sunday's Game vs. PHI

On the Wing

With DeBrusk expected to be sidelined for at least the next two games and Nordstrom and Lindholm back in the lineup, Cassidy has opted to shift Charlie Coyle to the right wing alongside Danton Heinen and David Krejci.

"Maybe Charlie will be a little more shot-oriented now that he's got a centerman that likes to dish," said Cassidy. "Someone on that line will have to shoot. That's the one thing that Jake always brings, he's got a shot mentality. He can make plays, but he's a shooter.

"Danton is kind of 50-50. As wingers there, they've both got to understand that they've got to shoot the puck on that line when the opportunity presents itself."

Coyle, who has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 16 games this season, believes that being on the wing allows him to play a more aggressive style of play, particularly in the offensive zone.

"I think playing wing, usually you're the first guy on the forecheck, that's where my game comes out a little more, initiate body contact, win puck battles," said Coyle. "Playing with a guy like Krejci that's a pass-first guy, you've got to be ready and have your finger on that trigger, just rip it. That's the mindset tonight.

"I've never been a shoot-first kind of guy, which I know I need to do more of. Being put in that position, that can only help and get my mindset right about doing that. That's the position I'm in and that's what I have to do."

Video: Coyle Speaks Before Sunday's Game vs. PHI

Opposing View

The Flyers enter Sunday's contest riding a three-game win streak, including a 3-2 victory over Toronto on Saturday night. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 and are the first wild card team in the Eastern Conference.

Travis Konecny paces Philly with 17 points (7 goals, 10 assists) in 16 games, while Oskar Lindblom leads the way with eight goals. Newcomer and Dorchester native Kevin Hayes, signed to a seven-year deal during the offseason, has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) in 16 games.

Sunday's Projected Lineup

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Danton Heinen - David Krejci - Charlie Coyle

Anders Bjork - Par Lindholm - Zach Senyshyn

Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner


Zdeno Chara - Connor Clifton

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk - Charlie McAvoy


Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Video: Cassidy Speaks Before Sunday's Game vs. PHI

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