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Bruins hope possible line change gets Pastrnak going in Game 3

Forward could skate with Coyle, Johansson against Blue Jackets, has scored one goal in past five games

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins hope a potential line change will generate more offense from forward David Pastrnak beginning with Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Pastrnak skated with center Charlie Coyle and left wing Marcus Johansson at practice Monday. Though Pastrnak has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he's scored one goal in his past five games. His goal in Game 2, a 3-2 overtime loss that evened the best-of-7 series 1-1, deflected off his skate.

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blue Jackets series coverage]

 

Coyle has seven points (five goals, two assists) in nine playoff games and Johansson has four (one goal, three assists) in seven. Each has three points against the Blue Jackets.

"Obviously they're playing well," Pastrnak said. "They're great players and finding chemistry within them too, so I'm just going to try to help them as much as I can." 

Danton Heinen practiced to the right of center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand. David Krejci centered Jake DeBrusk and rookie Karson Kuhlman.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said a final decision will be made at the morning skate Tuesday.

"We really like Charlie's puck possession in the O-zone, so [Pastrnak's] going to have to find his spots there," Cassidy said. "But when [Bergeron's] line's on, he's playing with [Marchand], that's where they excel to be more than line rushes, is cycle play, generating off a shot, rebound recovery, so he'll fit in fine there. It's just a matter of finding his spots when Charlie likes to dish it. [Johansson] loves to make plays, so to have a shooter over there should excite him. So if that ends up a line, we'll see."

Pastrnak, who had 81 points (38 goals, 43 assists) in the regular season, said he'll think more about shooting than passing, regardless of where he plays.

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm2: Pastrnak deflects puck past Bobrovsky

"Maybe I passed up some looks," he said. "I think I get some good looks and maybe passing some. But yeah, just stick with it and go to the net."

Kuhlman has one assist in five playoff games, but the Bruins appreciated his play in Games 6 and 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even if Kuhlman doesn't produce, he could get more out of his linemates.

"He's played well with Krejci and DeBrusk," Cassidy said. "I think when he's on that line, as opposed to [Pastrnak], Jake's going to look for his offense more and shoot more. So that's a little bit of the thinking. He knows he should be the primary goal scorer."

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