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Heinen to replace Wingels for Bruins against Maple Leafs in Game 7

Winner will face Lightning in Eastern Conference Second Round

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Danton Heinen will replace Tommy Wingels at forward for the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NESN). 

Boston coach Bruce Cassidy swapped Wingels for Heinen in Game 6 of the best-of-7 series, with Wingels playing on the second line with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci, and Rick Nash moving down to the third line with Riley Nash and David Backes.

But Cassidy opted to return to the lines the Bruins have used, for the most part, during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and when the Bruins have been healthy down the stretch. Rick Nash will play with DeBrusk and Krejci; Heinen will go back to the left wing with Riley Nash and Backes.

"That's basically the groups we had envisioned," Cassidy said. "We trust this group to get it done."

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]

 

The winner of Game 7 will advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The third line of Heinen, Riley Nash and Backes has been steady for Boston this season and had a run of success following Backes' return after missing a month because of colon surgery. From Nov. 29-Jan. 7, the three combined for 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 18 games.

"That line played really well for us," Cassidy said. "We trust them to do that again tonight. [Heinen] sat a game. Generally guys have come back into the lineup, played well."

Heinen, 22, has been reliable defensively for the Bruins and ranked fifth for them in scoring during the regular season with 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 77 games. But he has no points in the playoffs, with four shots in five games against the Maple Leafs. Wingels, 30, has no points and three shots on goal in three games this postseason.

"I think there's a lot of guys that could be in," Heinen said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. I'm excited. ... Nobody likes watching from the stands. I think you want to show them you're ready to go. You want to be good for your teammates and help the team win."

There were no other changes to the Boston lineup. 

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Complete Coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Round 1

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs

Capitals vs. Blue Jackets

Round 2

Capitals vs. Penguins

Predators vs. Jets

Golden Knights vs. Sharks

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