Patriots

Bergeron, McQuaid, Sauve all go down vs. Pens

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Bergeron, McQuaid, Sauve all go down vs. Pens

PITTSBURGH The skeleton crew left on the Bruins bench and the astronomically high ice time totals for Bostons top forwards told the tale of an undermanned, injury-ravaged hockey club.

The Bruins lost three more players and nearly a fourth to injuries in a physically punishing 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center on Sunday afternoon.

Adam McQuaid went down with an upper body injury after a collision with Pittsburgh power forward James Neal in the first period, and never returned after four shifts and 1:59 of ice time.

Patrice Bergeron appeared to get hit in the lower left leg with a Matti Niskanen shot and twice attempted to return to the game before finally heading back to the Bs dressing room following one quick shift in the third period.

Max Sauve suffered a lower body injury in the second period and managed only seven shifts and 3:43 of ice time in his NHL debut playing in place of the injured Benoit Pouliot.

Claude Julien said there werent any plans to send any of the three injured players back to Boston, and thats a good sign. But the injuries to both McQuaid and Bergeron looked like they might lead to short term absences for each. Any absence for No. 37 is something that an undermanned Bruins unit cant afford.

Sauve is lower body. McQuaid as you saw from the Neal hit is upper body. Bergeron blocked a shot, said Julien. Theres nothing more than that right now. I havent been told that anybody is out for a long period of time and thats what basically we have to go on right now.

The next day is when well have a better idea on those bumps and bruises, so well have a better idea tomorrow.

With the Bruins already down four players because of injury, the hope has to be that at least a couple of the Sunday injuries turn out to be relatively minor ones. But theres a lot of hope and a pile of ice bags surrounding a black-and-blue Bs franchise right now, and thats not necessarily a good combination.

Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

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Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.

Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the  prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.

Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.

Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.

But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.

Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pasta
Schaller-Nash-Backes
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano
White

Chara-Carlo
Miller-McAvoy
Krug-Postma

Rask
Khudobin