BOSTON - The Bruins will have some fresh faces in the lineup on Tuesday night when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to TD Garden. Trade deadline acquisitions Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly will make their debuts in the Spoked-B, while Curtis Lazar is a game-time decision.
"I think to get a guy of Taylor's magnitude, knowing we could use that extra layer of secondary scoring was big for our guys…I think [Bruins general manager Don Sweeney] did a great job," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
"To add Lazar as well, a good depth player, good solid guy on the kill, has five goals. I thought he did a real good job upgrading. And obviously [with Reilly], an area of need with all our injuries right now, good puck mover, an area that we've been lacking a little bit.
"I think our guys are excited. Let's get them in the lineup, let's get playing, see how they fit in and go from there."
David Krejci believes the additions by Sweeney signaled that management deems the group good enough to make another run at the Stanley Cup.
"For us, all the guys, it shows that management is trying to get some good players and make a good run at playoffs," said Krejci. "For players, it's never a fun time, the deadline and leading up to it. Now it's over with. Everyone can relax…now we know it's go time. We have the pieces we have now and we have to buy in and start building something good here."
Video: Sweeney Addresses Media after 2020-21 Trade Deadline
Here's everything else you need to know ahead of the 7 p.m. puck drop on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub:
Hall to Line Up with Krejci
To start, Hall will play alongside Krejci and Craig Smith on Boston's second line and also play the half wall on the B's second power-play unit. The 29-year-old winger and former Hart Trophy winner is expected to bring speed, skill, and play-making ability to a club that has struggled to generate consistent secondary scoring.
"Really excited to get a player like that," said Krejci. "I know Taylor pretty well playing against him for many years. Great player, hopefully we can get off to a good start and go from there. When you think of him, definitely his speed. He's got a good shot. Being out there today, having one practice under our belt, work on some things.
"He can make plays, has good vision…he's got the whole package. Hopefully we can put it all together and start this thing off on a good foot.
Video: Krejci Talks About Playing on a Line With Taylor Hall
Lazar, McAvoy Game-Time Decisions
Lazar had missed Buffalo' last six games with a lower-body injury, but had been skating to keep up his conditioning. The 26-year-old was a full participant in morning skate on Tuesday and could make his Bruins debut against his old team if he gets through warmups without any adverse effects.
"He'll be a game-time decision tonight," said Cassidy. "He'll meet with our medical staff, got through morning skate, said he feels pretty good. We've got to be careful. It's a soft tissue type of injury, that you don't aggravate it and miss instead of one more game, two more games.
"It's a big picture thing for us. But we will make that decision tonight. If the player feels he's ready to go, we want to trust his decision. He'll have to do that in lockstep with our medical staff."
Cassidy told Toucher & Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub during an interview on Tuesday morning that Charlie McAvoy is also a game-time decision. McAvoy has been sidelined for the last four games with an upper-body injury.
Kevan Miller will be back in after sitting out Sunday's game against the Capitals for maintenance.
Video: Cassidy Speaks to The Addition of New Players
Rask, Frederic Getting Close
Tuukka Rask (upper body) and Trent Frederic (illness) skated on Tuesday and are targeting Thursday against the New York Islanders for a return to action. Rask has played just one period since March 7, while Frederic has missed the last three games with a non-COVID related bug.
"We're gonna let [Frederic] build his conditioning back up," said Cassidy, while pointing out that the young winger has not had much time to practice of late. "He'll be back available as soon as that comes around, which could be as early as Thursday."
"We're hoping for Thursday," Cassidy added of Rask. "We've got four games this week...that's the way he's trending."
Jeremy Swayman will get the start on Tuesday night.
The Sabres are making their second visit of the year to TD Garden with the teams set to face off five times by the end of the month. Buffalo will, of course, be playing its first game without Hall and Lazar, while Anders Bjork - who went to the Sabres in the deadline deal - will suit up against the Bruins and play the left wing alongside Dylan Cozens and Artuu Tuotsalainen.
"Hard working kid, great kid," said Cassidy. "Changed the way he played to a certain extent. Did what he was asked. We just had other guys ahead of him. Wish him luck in Buffalo."
Following their 18-game losing streak, the Sabres are 4-2-1 in their last seven contests.
Video: Hall and Reilly to Play First Game as a Bruin
By the Numbers
- Craig Smith is playing his 700th NHL game tonight.
- Jarred Tinordi's next game will be his 100th NHL game.
- Charlie Coyle is one point shy of his 300th NHL point.
- David Pastrnak is four goals short of his 200th NHL goal.
Tuesday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Taylor Hall - David Krejci - Craig Smith
Nick Ritchie - Charlie Coyle - Jake DeBrusk
Sean Kuraly - Curtis Lazar - Chris Wagner
Jeremy Lauzon - Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly - Kevan Miller
Jarred Tinordi - Connor Clifton
Video: Trade Deadline Details With GM Don Sweeney