Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

It's happening: Ryan Donato will be in Bruins' Game 4 lineup

Sara Civian
May 04, 2018 - 12:03 pm

His linemates are to be determined, and he’s not going to single-handedly save the world, but Ryan Donato will be in the Bruins’ lineup for Game 4 tonight.

“Ryan Donato will go in tonight” head coach Bruce Cassidy said after Friday’s morning skate. “I just can’t tell you what line. But like I said, he will play...it’s not a covert operation here, we’ll just have to see about the two other left-wingers.”

His line depends on the fates of Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, who sat out of yesterday’s practice with “a couple of nicks.” They’re game-time decisions, but Cassidy “believes” they’ll play.

“When (Donato) was in the lineup he was on pucks, he shot the puck, he obviously created offense for us...we’ll find a spot for him on the second unit,” Cassidy said. “We need some more pop in our lineup, more enthusiasm and puck pursuit and he can add that... We just felt talking about it that now is a good time.”

The Bruins’ only Game 3 goal came on the power play in the first period, so now is as good a time as any for Team USA’s scoring leader to re-enter the lineup. Donato scored three points (1 G, 2 A) in his NHL debut and nine (5 G, 4 A) through 12 games.

He didn’t make it on the scoreboard in his postseason debut in Game 2 against Toronto, but he only had 9:24 TOI and registered three shots on goal.

“Why now?,” Cassidy posed. “We liked our lineup earlier — it won a series. Now these two games have not gone our way, we’ll be the first to admit it. We need to play better in certain areas, I hope he goes out there and has a stellar game tomorrow and we’re all writing about it. But he’s one of 12 forwards...all 12 forwards need to be better.”

“Healthy scratch” hasn’t exactly been on Donato’s resume before now, but he says he’s ready to go regardless of watching most of this postseason from the box.

"It’s been a lot of hard work,” he said. “A lot of the guys that have been scratches lately have been working hard off the ice so that when we eventually got our opportunity we’d be ready to go."

 

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