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Bruins Notes: Zboril, Clifton to make NHL debut; Rask starts

Erin Walsh
November 16, 2018 - 4:36 pm

With a slew of defensive injuries, Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton are set to make their NHL debuts Friday night on the road against the Dallas Stars. Captain Zdeno Chara was sent back to Boston on Thursday and defenseman John Moore has now been listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, forcing Clifton into the lineup.

For those wondering, the defensive injuries are as follows:

Zdeno Chara (lower body)

Charlie McAvoy (concussion)

Brandon Carlo (upper body)

Kevin Miller (hand)

John Moore (lower body)

Urho Vaakanainen (concussion)

Bruce Cassidy gave his thoughts on the state of the defensive core Friday morning while also adding some thoughts on the young guys who have maneuvered their way into the lineup.

"It's the National Hockey League, you can either play in it or you can't,” Cassidy told reporters. “We’ll find out with some of these [young] guys, sometimes this is the best way to find out, that’s the positive in it. The negative is we’ve got a lot of good players out of the lineup back there."

Zboril, one of three Bruins consecutive first-round draft picks in 2015, told reporters that he’s excited for the opportunity.

"I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life,” said Zboril. “Growing up as a kid, I was just dreaming of being in NHL one day and it's finally happening."

Clifton, a graduate of Quinnipiac, is also looking forward to the opportunity.

"Really excited,” Clifton said. “I was expecting to play in Providence this weekend, but opportunity presented itself, so I’m going to try to make the most of it."

Tuukka Rask is expected to make his first start in goal since coming back from a leave of absence. With a banged up defensive unit, it’ll be a tough test for Rask tonight.