Bruins breaking up their top line when Bergeron returns

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BRIGHTON, Mass. – With Patrice Bergeron on the cusp of a return for the Bruins, it looks like the B’s are going to split up their top line after all. At practice Friday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy paired Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron together with Danton Heinen and slotted Joakim Nordstrom with David Krejci and David Pastrnak on the second line.

Bergeron (chest injury) was still being considered a game-time decision for Saturday afternoon against the Nashville Predators at TD Garden, but it certainly looks as if the B’s want to take a look at diversifying the scoring a little bit with Jake DeBrusk still out of the lineup. The hope is also to get Heinen heated up offensively given the season-long struggles he’s had (four goals and eight points in 33 games) while bouncing around the lineup.

“I think we’ll start that way. Bergeron will be a game-time decision obviously. If he wakes up in the morning and feels good after today’s practice then he’s in,” said Cassidy. “If he’s in, then that’s the direction we’ll go because DeBrusk won’t be in.

“With Heinen, it’s more about giving somebody an opportunity to get going offensively, whoever we put out there if it’s not David Pastrnak. I think putting [Bergeron] on there makes it a very good defensive line. Heinen played in [Marchand’s] spot with Bergeron when he was suspended and did okay there. Hopefully, it translates for him and it makes everybody better. That’s the hope.”

Will it all work, or will the Bruins go back to the Perfection Line of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak that’s worked so well for them over the last couple of seasons? That will probably start to play out on Saturday vs. the Preds with it taking at least a few games to get a true read on things. The B’s will at the very least look at something to boost the diversity of their attack.

Plus, it will keep Krejci and Pastrnak together after they had been so dynamic on the attack the past eight games. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Predators based on practice:

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

Nordstrom-Krejci-Pastrnak

Kuraly-Cave-Backes

Donato-JFK-Wagner


Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McAvoy

Moore-Kampfer

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