BOSTON - Bruce Cassidy is sticking with what worked.
Boston's bench boss said on Tuesday morning that he will go with the same lineup tonight in Game 7 as he did for the Bruins 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs in Game 6, meaning David Backes and Chris Wagner will remain the scratches up front.
"Yup…guys that have played well for us this year," Cassidy said when asked if it was difficult to keep them out of the lineup. "We just feel that the lineup we dressed the other night, we played our best game…I thought Game 6 was our identity, our type of game, in terms of pace, physicality, finishing, all aspects of the game, special teams. That's probably the biggest decision with some of the guys going in and out."
Video: Cassidy discusses Game 7 lineup, young players
More news and notes ahead of Game 7 (7 p.m. ET on NESN & 98.5 The Sports Hub)
Providing a Boost
Cassidy also thought the work of Sean Kuraly was crucial to the B's victory on Sunday afternoon. The 26-year-old, playing in his second game back after missing nearly a month with a fractured right hand, brought his patented combination of speed, energy, and grit, which was sorely missed during his absence.
"He can match up against good players because he's 6-2 and he's 210 pounds. You have to work to get through him," said Cassidy. "I think all of those things have made him a good, serviceable guy that can play against good players. If we can get some offense from him, great. He's provided a little bit of that in the playoffs in the past.
"He had good looks the other night off the wing. I thought it was a really good game. It was a big reason why he won. He did his job."
Video: B's go with same lineup for big Game 7
First Time Through
The Bruins have plenty of veteran postseason experience in their dressing room, but there will be a few players making their Game 7 debuts on Tuesday night. Winger Joakim Nordstrom, as well as youngsters Brandon Carlo and Karson Kuhlman will be getting their first taste of a winner-takes-all atmosphere.
"Just excitement. A lot of fun watching the Game 7 in the past…the intensity in the building has been pretty cool. Really looking forward to it," said Carlo, who sat out last year's series with Toronto because of injury.
Cassidy is not concerned about the nerves that might come with being in a Game 7 situation for the first time, pointing to the team's veteran core - Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron have played in a combined 22 career Games 7 - and their ability to guide players through adversity and anxiety.
"I think the players in the room will have a much bigger voice, in terms of what your demeanor needs to be," said Cassidy. "As coaches, we've tried to prepare them for situational things that are gonna happen on the ice, what they did well in Game 6 that we can try to correct and what we did well that we can keep building on. Once they get on the ice, I believe the leadership group will have our guys in a good place."
Jake DeBrusk, who scored two goals against the Leafs in his first career Game 7 last spring, remembers the leadership group taking control before the third period when the B's were trailing by a goal.
"Those guys have a calming effect," said DeBrusk, who notched the winner early in the third.
Video: Carlo readies for first career Game 7
Tuesday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Marcus Johansson - Charlie Coyle - Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
John Moore - Matt Grzelcyk
Scratches: David Backes, Connor Clifton, Steven Kampfer, and Chris Wagner
Video: DeBrusk and young guys relying on veterans