Bruins fans will finally get a look at new trade acquisition Andrej Meszaros, who is in the lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Florida Panthers at the First Atlantic Center.
Meszaros was scratched for the first two games after arriving via deadline deal with the Philadelphia Flyers on March 5, and the Bruins kept their defensemen combinations intact. But Dougie Hamilton was on ice for a pair of goals against in Boston’s 4-3 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, and struggled a bit in the shutdown pairing with Zdeno Chara.
Hamilton didn’t see much ice time in the third period and overtime, and finished with the lowest TOI total (17:43) among B’s defensemen in the win. Claude Julien announced that the 20-year-old defenseman will be the healthy scratch for the B’s against the Panthers on Sunday, and will be the one making room for Meszaros in the Black and Gold lineup.
Otherwise it’s expected to be the same lineup for the Boston Bruins against Florida on Tim Thomas Bobblehead Night four days after he was traded from the Panthers to the Dallas Stars. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
Meszaros had five goals and 17 points for the Flyers this season, and it remains to be seen if he’ll replace Hamilton alongside Zdeno Chara, or slide into one of the other pairings as the Bruins take a look at how he fits with the rest of the B’s defensemen. Meszaros has extensive experience playing with Chara during his rookie season with the Ottawa Senators, and with Team Slovakia in two past Olympic tournaments.
Hamilton has seven goals and 18 points along with a plus-12 in 47 games for the Bruins this season, and has rarely been a healthy scratch since the beginning of the year.