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Bruins Notebook

Bruins fan Bruce Cassidy grew up an admirer of Guy Lafleur

Coach Bruce Cassidy grew up a Bruins fan but nonethelesss he admired the skill and the style of the Canadiens' Guy Lafleur.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Bruce Cassidy grew up a Bruins fan in Ottawa, but his mother was from Montreal and her loyalties were with the Canadiens.

The way he adored Bobby Orr, she loved Guy Lafleur.

“I think every Montreal Canadien fan was and should be,” Cassidy said.

Lafleur, a five-time Stanley Cup champion, died Friday at the age of 70. He announced he had lung cancer in 2020.

From his three Art Ross Trophies to his two Hart Trophies, Lafleur’s accolades made him a legend. But Cassidy said his style is what fans connected to.

“Terrific hockey player,” Cassidy said. “Seemed to have a great personality, great flair for that for that market.”

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In that sense, Lafleur reminded him of Bruins star David Pastrnak.

“He kind of marches to the beat of his own drum, smile on his face every day, creative hockey player, big shot down the wing, goalscorer that comes through,” Cassidy said. “I hate to do that — compare him to a Montreal Canadien — Guy Lafleur, to me, was a great hockey player.

“Just happened to be wearing the sweater of a team I didn’t like or support. But at the end of the day, I love the way he played the game.”

Lafleur’s death came a week after New York Islanders great Mike Bossy died at 65 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

“Hockey lost two really good right-wingers,” Cassidy said. “I guess the team above just got strengthened on their right side.”

Full strength

The Bruins came into Sunday’s game seeded seventh.

For the first time in nearly three weeks, the Bruins were at full strength. Pastrnak, Hampus Lindholm, and Linus Ullmark all returned to the lineup in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Rangers.

The plan, Cassidy said, was to have Pastrnak and Lindholm play Saturday, be evaluated after the game, then return Tuesday for good.

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Pastrnak returned to the lineup after missing the previous eight games. He hadn’t played since April 4. Before that, he had been bothered by an apparent lower-body injury after coming up gimpy on a goalie exchange against Winnipeg in March.

Lindholm had been out of the lineup since April 8. He suffered a lower-body injury against the Detroit Red Wings and missed the next seven games.

Ullmark missed the past three games after taking a slap shot off his face mask against Ottawa. He was checked by officials but left the game in the second period as the effects lingered.

Both goaltenders will travel to Montreal. Jeremy Swayman will get the start.

500 Club

Pastrnak’s second-period assist gave him 500 career points.

“Obviouly it’s nice,” Pastrnak said. “Tell me as a kid, I wouldn’t believe it. Obviously, I’m very humble about it and happy, something more that you look back to and you really enjoy with your family and friends. So it’s nice, but at the same time, there’s other goals that I have in my mind.”

Pastrnak is the 16th player in franchise history to reach the milestone. He joined Patrice Bergeron (973) and Brad Marchand (788) in the club.

Pastrnak reached 500 points in 239 games, making him the third-fastest player to do it in a Bruins uniform behind Bobby Orr (396) and Ray Bourque (484).

“That’s pretty good company for David,” Cassidy said. “Not surprised. High offensive skill. For him, it was growing into his body at a young age. He’s put in all the work in the gym to be strong on pucks. He gets targeted every night. So to be able to sustain it’s a credit to what he’s done off the ice. On his way to 600.”

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Young players

The Bruins’ injury issues opened up ice time for young players from AHL Providence like Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka, and Jack Ahcan.

But going forward, Cassidy said he didn’t see many late-season opportunities opening up, especially as the playoffs approach.

“It’s getting late for that, to be honest,” Cassidy said. “When you have a good hockey club -- a club that’s where we are, we’re a good hockey club — guys have worked hard to solidify their spots. I think when we’re healthy, we’ve solidified our places in the lineup. There’s a little bit of juggling going on, maybe on the third pair on D. But our lines, we like how they’re performing.”


Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.