With defenseman Matt Grzelcyk still not medically cleared to return to the lineup because of his concussion, and Zdeno Chara seemingly fine to play his regular ice time despite his facial injury, Cassidy will scale back to just six defensemen and add a forward into the lineup after the 11/7 alignment didn’t work in Game 5.
But instead of re-inserting veteran David Backes, Cassidy is opting for the speed of rookie Karson Kuhlman.
Although he’s a first-year pro, Kuhlman has two assists in six postseason games this year, and this won’t be his first elimination-game rodeo. Kuhlman, who hasn’t played since April 30 (Game 3 of the second round against Columbus), played in both Game 6 and Game 7 of the first-round series against Toronto, when the Bruins came back from 3-2 down in the series to win.
"Obviously an awesome experience. I'm just trying to take it all in and at the same time just try to do my job and help this team win any way I can,” Kuhlman told the media Sunday morning.
On defense, John Moore will continue to fill Grzelcyk’s spot, so Steven Kampfer will be the healthy scratch.
Cassidy said Kuhlman will start on the right wing of the second line, so that means the first and third lines will stick together. The experiment of breaking up Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson in an effort to spark the other lines is on hold at least for a few minutes of game action before the master tinkerer get to work.
Here’s how the Bruins are scheduled to line up for Game 6:
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