Bruins turning to Moore, Johansson for Game 4 help against Maple Leafs

Matt Kalman
April 17, 2019 - 3:44 pm

On the one hand Wednesday morning Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said that returning defenseman John Moore and forward Marcus Johansson would be game-time decisions to play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first round at Toronto.

On the other hand, Cassidy revealed that if either veteran is ready, Moore will replace Steven Kampfer and Johansson will replace Karson Kuhlman when the Bruins try to even the best-of-7 series after losing Game 3 on Monday and falling behind in the series 2-1.

So it’s a safe bet that Moore, who hasn’t played since March 25 because of an upper-body injury, and Johansson, who missed Game 2 and 3 with illness, are going to play.

"If they feel good, they'll go in. They are trending well,” Cassidy told the media in Toronto.

The Bruins held an optional skate, so we can only guess at what Cassidy’s line will look like at the outset of Game 4. But considering he seemed determined to keep the line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak together despite that trio’s struggles, we can pretty much figure it out. Here’s the guess:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Marcus Johansson

Danton Heinen-Charlie Coyle-David Backes

Joakim Nordstrom-Noel Acciari-Chris Wagner

If things go haywire and Cassidy needs to shift Pastrnak to Krejci’s wing, Johansson and Heinen would be candidates to be the first moved up to the first line. Heinen might be a better bet because then Johansson could be reunited with Coyle. Wagner and Backes could also flip spots if Backes has a hard time keeping up.

Moore will be paired with Matt Grzelcyk and should give the Bruins more poise on the left side, with Grzelcyk moving to the right. Ideally Moore’s strength and size should hold up better than that of Kampfer, who struggled against Toronto’s forecheck in Game 3.

Award season

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was named one of 31 nominees (one from each team) for the 2019 King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The King Clancy goes to “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."

Three finalist will be announced April 23.

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