NHL playoffs: Projected lines, pairings for Bruins-Capitals Game 3

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Projected lines, pairings for Bruins vs. Capitals Game 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals split the first two games of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series, which sets up a pivotal Game 3 at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

The Bruins evened the series Monday night with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 2. Brad Marchand played the role of hero by scoring the fastest OT goal in Bruins playoff history

Overall, it was a much better performance from the B's compared to the series opener. Boston was much more aggressive in getting pucks on Capitals goalie Craig Anderson, while also defending Alexander Ovechkin's line much more effectively.

Game 2 observations: Taylor Hall makes huge impact in B's win

We shouldn't expect any major changes to Boston's lineup entering Game 3. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy already confirmed Tuesday that defenseman Jeremy Lauzon will miss his second straight game. Connor Clifton, who did a nice job defending the Ovechkin line in Game 2, will remain in the lineup.

The Capitals might not have second-line center Lars Eller, who has fared well in his defensive matchups versus the Bruins' top line over the two games. Eller suffered a lower body injury in Game 2. We could see top-six center Evgeny Kuznetsov make his series debut for Washington. He was recently taken off the COVID-19 protocols list. He's more offensively gifted than Eller but not the same defensive player.

Brad Marchand overcomes poor performance to play Game 2 hero

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette has not given up much information on injuries and lineups during this series, and his comments Wednesday morning didn't deviate from that.

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Here are the projected lines and pairings for Bruins vs. Capitals Game 3.

BOSTON BRUINS

FORWARDS

Brad Marchand--Patrice Bergeron--David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall--David Krejci--Craig Smith

Nick Ritchie--Charlie Coyle--Jake DeBrusk

Sean Kuraly--Curtis Lazar--Chris Wagner

DEFENSEMEN

Matt Grzelcyk--Charlie McAvoy

Mike Reilly--Brandon Carlo

Connor Clifton--Kevan Miller

GOALIES

Tuukka Rask (starter), Jeremy Swayman (backup)

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

FORWARDS

Alexander Ovechkin--Nicklas Backstrom--Anthony Mantha

Conor Sheary--Lars Eller/Evgeny Kuznetsov--Michael Raffl

Daniel Sprong--T.J. Oshie--Tom Wilson

Carl Hagelin--Nic Dowd--Garnet Hathaway

DEFENSEMEN

Dmitry Orlov--John Carlson

Brenden Dillon--Justin Schultz

Zdeno Chara--Nick Jensen

GOALIES

Craig Anderson (starter), Ilya Samsonov/Pheonix Copley (backup)