Boston's forward corps will be in line for a major lift this weekend if David Pastrnak is given the green light to make his season debut against the Capitals.
But the Bruins still have one game to go before their top sniper potentially returns to the fold — and the injury bug isn't making things any easier on Bruce Cassidy and his staff when it comes to putting together the best possible lineup for Thursday's rematch against the Penguins.
Already without both Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase (upper-body injury), Boston is set to move ahead without another top-six forward for the time being, as Jake DeBrusk was already ruled out for Thursday after suffering a lower-body injury. DeBrusk, who only logged five shifts and 3:30 of ice time Tuesday before leaving Boston's eventual OT win, has had a slow start to the season (zero goals, one assist over six games), but his absence does throw the B's forward corps out of whack — given that the winger was serving as Pastrnak's replacement on the top line.
"Will not play (Thursday). We'll go from there," Cassidy said of DeBrusk following Boston's practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday. "If we have anything better [on Thursday morning], I'll let you know."
Based on Wednesday's lines, it appears as though Boston will turn to