The Bruins are one step closer to full health for their lineup with the news that Joakim Nordstrom will make his season debut for the Black and Gold on Thursday night.
The versatile Swedish winger will play against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in the fourth and final game of their season-opening West Coast road trip after notching wins in the first three games. Nordstrom was slowed by a foot injury suffered in the Stanley Cup Final last spring that was slow to heal over the summer and kept him from being a regular participant in training camp over the last month.
It appears that the Bruins will pull power forward Brett Ritchie from the lineup, per the morning skate lines and pairings, and he'll join Par Lindholm as a healthy scratch after suiting up in the first three games of the season. Interesting to note that David Backes will remain in the lineup for the Bruins after serving as the healthy scratch in the second game of the season against the Arizona Coyotes.
Lindstrom finished with seven goals and 12 points in 70 games last season while bouncing between the second, third and fourth lines, and was medically cleared to play on Tuesday after not appearing in any preseason game action.
Bruce Cassidy also told reporters that Jaroslav Halak will get the start against the Avalanche, though Tuukka Rask was also on the ice for morning skate after he limped off the ice due to dehydration and cramped muscles following Tuesday's win Vegas.
Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on reports out of Colorado from Thursday's morning skate:
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