BRUINS (26-18-6) at SABRES (21-26-4)
TV: TVA Sports, SNE, SNO, SNP, NESN, MSG-B, NHL.TV
BUFFALO -- The Boston Bruins will have goalie Jonas Gustavsson back when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, MSG-B, TVA Sports, SNE, SNO, SNP, NHL.TV).
Tuukka Rask will start in goal Thursday but Gustavsson will be in the lineup as the backup.
Gustavsson was activated from injured reserve and cleared to play after he left a game against the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 26 because of an elevated heart rate.
"I guess my heart rate was a little high and it took a few days before it came down," Gustavsson said. "The doctors thought it was best for me to get out of the game and do some testing just to be safe and that's what we did. Everything showed that everything was good so I'm clear and good to go."
To make room for Gustavsson on the roster, goalie Malcolm Subban was sent to Providence of the American Hockey League.
Bruins (26-18-6) forward Ryan Spooner returned to center during the 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday and will be between Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes against the Sabres. Spooner had a four-game assist streak end in the loss to Toronto.
"We've put him in different spots and I'm sure throughout his career he hasn't been bounced around as much," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But he's answered those challenges very well. I thought he did very well when [David] Krejci was out. He's done a good job on the wing when we've asked him to be there. … He just has to continue giving us what we want from him and continue to grow. He's still a young player that has room to get better, which is a good sign because we think he's pretty good right now. But he's got an opportunity here to get even better and that's up to him to keep pushing himself."
The Sabres (21-26-4) had an optional skate Thursday and will make one change from the lineup they used in their 4-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. Goalie Chad Johnson will start against the Bruins after Robin Lehner made 33 saves against the Canadiens.
Forward Johan Larsson scored the game-winning goal against Montreal. It was his second goal in 48 games this season and first since Dec. 14. It was also his first point since Jan. 10.
"I think Larsson has been playing extremely hard there in the middle," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "He hasn't been rewarded on the score sheet very often but I thought he's been ... his game in Ottawa and again last night has been his best hockey for us. I think that line together with [Evander Kane and Brian Gionta], I think Brian adds some speed and jump to that line as well. We're counting on that line to play against other teams' top guys in a lot of cases as well, especially on the road, and they've been able to do that and do that playing in the offensive zone."
Here are the projected lineups:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly
Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo - Max Talbot - Landon Ferraro
Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman
Dennis Seidenberg - Colin Miller
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Injured: Adam McQuaid (upper body), Chris Kelly (broken left femur)
Scratched: Joonas Kemppainen, Tyler Randell, Joe Morrow
Jamie McGinn - Ryan O'Reilly - Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons - Jack Eichel - Marcus Foligno
Evander Kane - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta
Matt Moulson - David Legwand - Nicolas Deslauriers
Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen
Zach Bogosian - Mark Pysyk
Jake McCabe - Cody Franson
Injured: Tyler Ennis (upper body), Cody McCormick (blood clot)
Scratched: Mike Weber, Carlo Colaiacovo
Status update: McQuaid practiced Thursday. He has been out since Jan. 5 because of an upper-body injury.
Who's hot: Eichel has two goals and three assists in the past three games. … Krejci has one goal and four assists during a four-game point streak. … Beleskey has three assists in the past two games.