BOSTON – While he missed his ninth straight game on Saturday night with an upper body injury, playmaking center David Krejci is inching closer to a return to the Boston Bruins lineup. Krejci resumed skating on his own in the last few days of the B’s road trip this week, and again skated on his own Saturday morning prior to Boston’s 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.

Krejci, who was injured on a seemingly normal looking shoulder-to-shoulder hit with Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, might not be ready to return Tuesday night in Montreal against the Canadiens. But it looks like he’ll be back in playing shape sooner rather than later while it’s still unknown exactly what kind of upper body issue was ailing the Czech center.

“He skated [on Saturday]. So he’s coming along. That’s a good sign,” said Claude Julien, prior to the 3-2 win over the Leafs. “That’s basically where he’s at, and we’ll see again…he’s now gone from week-to-week to probably more day-to-day. I wouldn’t say [he’ll be ready] tomorrow, but getting closer.”

The Bruins have gone a thoroughly mediocre 4-4-1 in the nine games since Krejci exited the lineup, and have averaged just 2.55 goals per game with 23 Bruins goals scored in the nine games since the injury.

That’s a full half-goal down from a Bruins team that’s averaged at/or above three goals per game just about all season, and ranks third overall in the NHL in goals scored this season.