Bruins could get key veteran back in lineup for Game 5

The Boston Bruins will attempt to close out their first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a win on Game 5 at home on Tuesday, and they could be getting some help on the blue line with defenseman Derek Forbort possibly returning, according to NHL.com.

2023 Player Ratings: Derek Forbort remained strong on penalty kill - Stanley Cup of Chowder

Derek Forbort has not played since March 2 due to two undisclosed injuries, and the Bruins said they expected him to be out for the season shortly after that, according to NHL.com. Forbort had surgery and played two games in the AHL with Providence on April 19 and April 21, and practiced on the Bruins’ third defensive pair with Parker Wotherspoon on Monday.

Forward Justin Brazeau could also be an option for the Bruins against the Maple Leafs in Game 5 on Tuesday, as he is coming back from an upper-body injury that he suffered on April 2 during a 3-0 win against the Nashville Predators. Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery spoke on the availability of Forbort and Justin Brazeau.

“We’ll see tomorrow night if they’re in the lineup or not,” Jim Montgomery said, via NHL.com. “There’s steps left to be made, but they are close.”

It will be interesting to see if Forbort and Brazeau will suit up and play for the Bruins in Game 5. They have not had any trouble with the Maple Leafs so far in this series, but the two returning would lengthen the depth of Boston’s lineup.

Forbort has played in 35 games this year, and put up four assists, with a plus/minus of +8, according to NHL.com. He is a true depth defenseman for the Bruins. Brazeau is a depth forward as well, and has played in 19 games with five goals and two assists for seven points for the Bruins this season, according to NHL.com.

Bruins look to sting Maple Leafs again in playoffs

3 goals in third leads Bruins over Maple Leafs 5-2 | AP News

In recent memory, the Bruins have been the nemesis for the Maple Leafs in the playoffs. This goes back to 2013, when Boston beat Toronto in seven games, and pulled off one of the most memorable Game 7 comebacks, scoring three goals in the third period to tie it and then winning in overtime 5-4.

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs in seven games two different times as well. Once in 2018, when the Maple Leafs tied it after trailing 3-1 in the series, but ultimately lost in Game 7. The next year, the Maple Leafs had a 3-2 series lead over the Bruins, but lost the last two games of the series.

This year, the Bruins are looking to dispatch of the Maple Leafs in much quicker fashion. The Maple Leafs have showed the ability to come back in series that they have trailed 3-1 against the Bruins, but they have not completed the comebacks.

Boston has the upper hand and can close it out on Tuesday with a win, and it could get some depth back in their lineup as well.

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