Kuhlman’s in Bruins lineup for Game 3 against Columbus

Matt Kalman
April 30, 2019 - 2:35 pm

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy made it official Tuesday morning, announcing after an optional morning skate in Columbus that Karson Kuhlman would return to the lineup and Chris Wagner would be scratched for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference second round.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Kuhlman gives the Bruins younger, fresher legs. And although he has just one assist in five games this postseason, he’s been around the puck and has helped create room for his linemates regardless of what line he has played with.

If Monday’s practice lines carry over into Game 3, Kuhlman could skate with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci, a combination Cassidy said helps DeBrusk sometimes change his mindset and play better.

“Yeah we liked his game. Obviously played well in Game 6 and 7 [against Toronto], helped us get some wins. We just went a different route early on, see how the series would shake out,” Cassidy said about Kuhlman. “He’s played well with Krejci and DeBrusk. I think when he’s on that line, as opposed to Pasta, Jake’s going to look for his offense more and shoot more. So that’s a little bit of the think, he knows he should be the primary goal scorer.”

If Kuhlman goes back to playing with Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle, the line he played with at the end of the Maple Leafs series, the Bruins should benefit. In about 30 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time with Coyle, Kuhlman had a 62% Corsi For in the first round.

More importantly, Kuhlman helps Cassidy achieve his goal of making the Bruins a better skating team.

“We feel when we’re skating – I said this before when we started against Toronto – I think when we’re skating we’re as good as any team in this league because we have grit, we have physicality, we have experience, I think we have a good blend of scoring and defense,” the coach said. “It’s when we have our legs, when we’re checking well, skating, forechecking, attacking, I think we’re a really, really good team. He does that add some of that element of pace to our game.”

Cassidy said there would be not other changes to the lineup.

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