Zdeno Chara

Chara, DeBrusk out rest of B's trip with upper-body injuries

Chara, DeBrusk out rest of B's trip with upper-body injuries

SUNRISE, Florida – The Bruins will be without a couple more of their front-line guys at least through the weekend.

Zdeno Chara and Jake DeBrusk were both missing from the morning skate Thursday at the BB&T Center and will miss games against the Panthers tonight and Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday with upper-body injuries sustained in the comeback win over Carolina. Chara tumbled upper body-first into the boards midway through the third period and appeared to be complaining of discomfort in the shoulder area on the bench before exiting for good. DeBrusk and Carolina’s Elias Lindholm got tangled before the rookie crashed into the boards early in the Tuesday night game, but he remained in the game and kept playing until he eventually had to exit in the third period as well.

The moment of truth for both will be when they get looked at by the Bruins doctors next week after returning to Boston.

“Upper body. Won’t play tonight and won’t play Saturday. We’ll have a better idea on both of them next week once we’re back in Boston,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “I can’t really answer to [the severity]. I’m not worried it’s long-term, but once [Chara] gets further evaluated we may get bad news. But that’s kind of the initial reaction right now.

“[The injuries] all seem to snowball at once. Two guys are out and another guy is questionable or probable for us, and we were already down two guys. But at the end of the day, we’ve said it…somebody else goes in. Adam [McQuaid] has been chomping at the bit to get back in, so he’ll come in and contribute. We chose to sit Tommy Wingels the other night, so he’s ready to go in. There is always a positive when a negative happens, and that’s the way we try to look at it.”

Torey Krug also had an upper-body injury in the third period Tuesday, but he felt well enough to skate on Thursday morning and is “questionable-to-probable” vs. the Panthers, according to Cassidy. The Bruins called up Anton Blidh and Paul Postma in case they’re needed with the recent rash of injuries and Cassidy is back to finagling with the lineup until he finds combos that will work.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings based on the morning skate with Anton Khudobin set to play tonight vs. the Panthers and Tuukka Rask penciled in to play vs. the Lightning on Saturday:










Bruins on third-period comeback: 'We just started to take over'

AP Photo

Bruins on third-period comeback: 'We just started to take over'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Once the momentum started there was no way of stopping it for the Boston Bruins.

In a season where the Bruins have routinely showed a “will to win” and have consistently dominated the third period, they did both while scoring five unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes to secure a comeback 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. To call it a wild comeback or an exhilarating momentum shift would be selling things short of what actually happened in the latter half of the third period.

Down by two goals headed into the third period after playing what Bruce Cassidy called “the worst period of our season”, the Bruins lost Jake DeBrusk, Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara to injuries while also giving up a shorthanded goal to the Hurricanes to make a three-goal hole. It certainly looked like a lost evening playing in front of a half-empty Carolina building, but that’s when things turned for the best for the Black and Gold.

Afterward the smiling Bruins couldn’t quite explain what had just happened, but knew they totally enjoyed it while knowing they escaped after playing some bad hockey along with the great hockey.

“It was awesome, you know? We had 2-on-1’s two shifts in a row after we got it to a 4-4 [score],” said David Pastrnak, who notched his first career hat trick with three goals all in the third period. “I don’t get. The whole night we kind of didn’t have the legs, and it was no energy and we looked tired. Then all of a sudden we get a couple of goals and everybody is flying. Everything clicked for us. I guess we all wish we knew how to turn this click. But I think a big part of it is just that we have a good team with a lot of very good players.”

With a few extra reps based on the other two left shot guys going down to injury, Matt Grzelcyk scored a goal at just about the exact midway point of the third period. Then David Pastrnak and Danton Heinen scored goals in the next 1:17 of action, and the Bruins were getting odd-man rushes and breakaways while the Hurricanes were completely breaking down. It was as extreme a momentum shift as one would ever see in the NHL, and it was very clearly a tale of two hockey clubs headed in completely opposite directions.

The Bruins are supremely confident in their abilities to come back from any deficit against any other team, and aren’t the least bit thrown off by injuries or horrid periods of play. They just keep coming, and keep coming and keep coming until either time runs out on them, or they eventually impose their will on the other team.

The Hurricanes, on the other hand, are a broken team waiting for something bad to happen to them, and that self-fulfilling prophecy falls exactly into perfect hands with the poised, pointed Bruins doing the chasing. It was all helped along by Brad Marchand, who was talking, cajoling and reassuring his teammates that they were still in the game after starting to claw back with the Grzelcyk goal that closed it to a two-goal mountain to be climbed.

“You just kind of feel it on the bench when we get a goal that we just kind of start to take over, and that’s what happened again,” said Brad Marchand. “It’s exciting. It gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush when things start to go your way.

“It’s a little demoralizing when we go through the second period the way we did. But as soon as we got that second goal, you just kind of felt that rush go through you. That excitement gets back in you, and that belief. That’s a dangerous tool. It’s a lot of fun coming back like that. It doesn’t always work out, but when it does it’s very exciting.”

It is nights like Tuesday in Carolina where the Bruins accomplish the highly improbable, topple the odds and truly continue to cultivate “that belief” as Marchand talked about. It’s a belief that the Bruins are never truly out of a game even when trailing by three goals in the third period, and a belief that something special is happening where the Black and Gold can do amazing things when they are pushed to do something out of the ordinary.  

Certainly there are bigger goals for this season in Boston and the sights have been set pretty darn high with a deep, talented and dangerous hockey club, but it’s also going to be a long time before anybody forgets the night they exploded all over the Hurricanes for five goals in the third period for one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Original Six franchise.


Chara, Krug and DeBrusk all knocked out of B's win, hope is 'nothing serious'

AP Photo

Chara, Krug and DeBrusk all knocked out of B's win, hope is 'nothing serious'

RALEIGH, N.C. --The Bruins executed an improbable, energizing third period comeback to take a 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena, but the hard-fought two points certainly might have come at a price.

A Bruins team already missing Charlie McAvoy and Patrice Bergeron lost three more players to injury, Jake DeBrusk, Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara, before they engineered the comeback in the final 10 minutes of the third period. After the game, Bruce Cassidy said he didn’t have much of an update on the injured trio so shortly after the frenetic, crazy comeback in the game’s final 10 minutes.


“Hopefully everybody is all right. I don’t have any updates because I just got off [the bench], but we hope it’s nothing serious. But I guess we’ll see,” said Bruce Cassidy. “When guys go down other guys want to step up, and that’s the sign of a good team. It’s one thing to want to, and it’s another thing to have the ability to do it.

“Now [Brian] Gionta and [Nick] Holden get a few more minutes and these are guys that have played in the league. That’s where our depth comes in. A guy like [Matt Grzelcyk] gets a few more opportunities offensively and he’s got it in him, and Danton Heinen gets a chance to go up with [David Krejci] and takes it to the net and scores. I think that’s what separates us right now. We have a lot of good players in our lineup right now, and they’re going to step up and come through when they’re given extra minutes.  

Chara tumbled upper body-first into the corner boards midway through the third period, sat on the bench in obvious discomfort and then eventually left for the Bruins dressing room never to return in the game. DeBrusk took a big hit earlier in the game that he played through for a portion of the contest as the B’s were trailing, but it looked like he finally succumbed to it headed into the third period.  

It was unclear what happened to Krug, but in all three cases the banged-up Bruins players were walking around without any obvious signs that would point to lower body injuries. It also appeared that all three Bruins players underwent X-Rays in PNC Arena following the game.