WASHINGTON DC – The Bruins lost the battle against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, but they hope they didn’t lose the war after a couple of key players were banged up after it was all over.
Patrice Bergeron took a Matti Niskanen slap shot directly off the inside of his right knee while attempting to block the shot killing a penalty in the third period, and then spent the rest of the third period leaving and returning to the Bruins bench while only getting on the ice for a couple of brief shifts. Bergeron didn’t speak to the media after the loss, and was spotted with a heavy limp walking out of the visitor’s dressing room following the loss.
“We’ll know more [tomorrow]. He obviously tried to come back, so we hope that it’s better than worse,” said Claude Julien. “We’ll evaluate it as we move on here.”
The Bruins also may have an injured goalie on their hands as well after Tuukka Rask said he “popped his groin” making a full-extension split save late in the third period. Rask immediately recoiled in pain afterward and was doubled over in pain before finishing things out in the loss. Rask allowed five goals on 22 shots in defeat to the Caps while playing in both ends of the back-to-back road games against Tampa and Washington, but assured that he was going to be okay after the game.
“Yeah, I’m alright. I just popped my groin a little bit,” said Rask, who also battled lower body injury issues in the first few weeks of the season coming off his World Cup experience. “But it’s nothing major.”
The good news for both Bergeron and Rask is that the Bruins don’t play another game until an ultra-important divisional showdown with the Maple Leafs on Saturday night, so both players can nurse whatever is bothering them in the meantime. The bad news is that the wear-and-tear of a long, bruising season is no doubt catching up to some of Boston’s core players, and it remains to be seen just how injured both Bergeron and Rask might actually be when they wake up and take stock of their bumps and bruises tomorrow.