One game after he was inexplicably a late scratch due to a lingering injury, it appears that Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron is feeling better. The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa not only reports that Bergeron was a full participant in the team’s morning skate, but that he skated in his regular spot on the first line and first power play unit. Head coach Bruce Cassidy told the media that he anticipates that Bergeron will play in Game Five, as the series returns to Boston with a chance for the Bruins to advance. While Riley Nash filled in admirably for Bergeron, as he has all season, the return of arguably the best defensive forward in hockey history could be the death knell of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- In a crucial Game Five in Washington, the Columbus Blue Jackets are also hoping to get a key center back in the lineup. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline feels there is a “strong indication” that Alexander Wennberg will be back for the Jackets after being knocked out of the first game of the series by Capitals head-hunter Tom Wilson. Portzline adds that head coach John Tortorella will address the media about an hour and half ahead of puck drop and would then confirm Wennberg’s return. Portzline believes that Sonny Milano would be the man to sit if Wennberg is ready to go.
- After missing two of the final three regular season games for the Capitals, it appears T.J. Oshie is still not over his lower-body injury. Oshie has been active and effective in every game of Washington’s first-round series, but the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Oshie has been playing through injury and has been missing practices and morning skates all series long. While head coach Barry Trotz and Oshie’s teammates appreciate his sacrifice, there should be concern that it will catch up to the talented forward. Unfortunately, the Capitals-Blue Jackets series is knotted up at two games apiece and has been extremely competitive, not allowing Oshie any flexibility to sit for a game. If the series runs seven games deep, an extra day of rest seems unlikely as well. If Washington is fortunate enough to advance, Oshie may struggle to keep up his level of play in the next round.