The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins will have a slightly different look in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series at Scotiabank Arena, with one team changing their lineup due to a key player’s suspension and the other due to injury.
The series is tied after the clubs split the first two games at TD Garden, but Toronto will likely be without Nazem Kadri for a lengthy period of time after the Leafs center received a major and game misconduct for cross-checking Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk.
Kadri is having an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety in New York this afternoon and it is expected that he will be suspended for more games than the three he received for the hit on Bruins winger Tommy Wingels last April.
Leafs head coach Mike Babcock’s plan for life without Kadri was on display at the club’s morning skate, as William Nylander moved to center the third line between Patrick Marleau and Connor Brown. Andreas Johnsson replaced Kadri on the Leafs first power play, inserting Tyler Ennis on the fourth line with Trevor Moore and Frederik Gauthier.
Michael Hutchinson was the goalie in the visitor’s goal on Monday in place of Garret Sparks and the veteran will back up Frederik Andersen in Game 3.
On the Bruins side, Marcus Johansson(who missed Game 2 due to illness) and Connor Clifton (hit along the boards by Kadri) did not take to the ice in Toronto on Monday. Jake DeBrusk(who did not see another shift after the Kadri crosscheck) and Torey Krug (who left on Saturday after being slammed into the boards by Jake Muzzin) took part in the Bruins morning skate and were confirmed as part of the Bruins starting lineup by head coach Bruce Cassidy.
Veteran defenseman Steven Kampfer spent significant time skating with bottom pairing blueliner Matt Grzelcyk, but John Moore also skated on Monday.
Toronto will be looking to dictate the pace of the game as they did in Game 1, and with the last change. Leafs head coach Mike Babcock should be able to get the line matches he wants.
“Outchanging the other team and running their bench is easiest when you are ahead. When you are chasing the game and not playing good, then the coach (can) do whatever he wants.” Babcock said. “The last change is great depending on how you are playing and the score in the game.”
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