BOSTON - After missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, David Krejci will return to the lineup on Tuesday night when the Bruins take on the San Jose Sharks at TD Garden. Krejci is expected to center Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen.
"I feel good, should be able to go tonight…been watching lots of games on TV," Krejci said following morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena. "They're playing really well. I just want to be a part of it…it helps that you're coming into the lineup with the team playing really well - not just winning, it's been impressive.
"That definitely makes it easy on me. I just want to go out there, make the right decisions and not try to do too much. That will come with time."
Krejci also missed the season opener with a lower-body injury suffered during the preseason and has suited up for just five games thus far. With limited game action through the first month, the center admits that it feels a bit like starting over.
"Pretty much. Good offseason…a couple injuries happened. It's unfortunate, but things happen," said Krejci. "I haven't played many games in the last four or five months, but I'm ready now and excited to play."
Video: Krejci Speaks to Media Before His Return to Lineup
Heinen, who has been playing mostly as Boston's third-line left wing thus far, will get the bump up the lineup and switch over to the right side on Tuesday night, a spot - alongside Krejci and DeBrusk - that he has seen time at in the past.
"It's awesome to have him back," Heinen said of Krejci. "It's always a pleasure playing with him. Obviously, he sees the ice so well. It's gonna be my job to get open and get him the puck, try to get to the net. Him and [Charlie] Coyle have some similarities. They like the puck on their stick, they like holding on to the puck, similar in that aspect."
Video: Heinen Discusses Playing on a Line With Krejci
In other injury news, Chris Wagner will also be back in the lineup after missing Sunday night's game in New York. Wagner blocked a shot with his foot in the Bruins' win over St. Louis on Saturday and needed some time to let the soreness dissipate.
"I was obviously pretty stiff on Sunday, tried it out at morning skate and it didn't go so well, but feel better now," said Wagner. "I kind of opened up my foot, which you're really not supposed to be. But I've blocked a lot of shots before and not gotten hurt. Just kind of bad luck sometimes."
Joakim Nordstrom, meanwhile, remains sidelined with an infection in his elbow. Nordstrom, who has played in only five games this season, was in the lineup on Saturday night against St. Louis, before sitting out on Sunday in New York.
"I don't know what the timeline is, to be honest," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "They have to let it calm down. I doubt we'll see him Saturday. After that, we'll give you a better update. I shouldn't even rule him out for Saturday, but I think it's something similar to what [David] Backes went through a couple years ago."
Par Lindholm is also out with an upper-body injury. "We'll see how he progresses," said Cassidy.
Video: Wagner Talks About Returning to the B's Lineup vs SJS
The Sharks - Western Conference finalists last spring - are off to a slow start with a 4-7-1 record. San Jose, wrapping up a five-game East Coast road trip, has dropped two straight and three of four, including a 5-2 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday night.
San Jose has the top-ranked penalty kill in the NHL (93.2%) and is 11th on the power play (23.8%). The Sharks are scoring 2.6 goals per game (24th) and allowing 3.6 (26th).
Defenseman Brent Burns leads the Sharks with 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in 12 games, while Evander Kane paces San Jose with seven goals in nine games. Joe Thornton, perhaps in his final NHL season, has four assists in 12 games.
"Everybody knows they're not having the start to the season that they wanted," said Krejci. "They're gonna be hungry. They have a good team. It might not show on the record, but they have some skilled forwards, Burns, [Erik] Karlsson - those are game changers. We always have to make sure we play the right way when they're on the ice."
Video: Cassidy Addresses Media Before Game vs. Sharks
Wait, There's More
- Brad Marchand enters tonight's game with a career-high 10-game point streak (7-13-20) and career-best nine-game assist streak. David Pastrnak (11-12-23) carries a nine-game point streak into tonight.
- Pastrnak has 11 goals this season, leaving him three shy of the club record for October with one game to play for the month. The mark of 14 was set by Phil Esposito in 1973-74.
- With 18 points in their first 11 games (8-1-2), the Bruins have tied the best 11-game start in club history, reached four time previously, most recently in 2012-13.
- Patrice Bergeron is two assists shy of 500 for his career, while Torey Krug is four points away from his 300th in the NHL
Tuesday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie
Chris Wagner - Sean Kuraly - David Backes
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Scratches: Steven Kampfer, Par Lindholm (upper body), and Joakim Nordstorm (infection).
Video: Krejci & Wagner Updates, HFC Night, Sharks in Town