NEW YORK – Noel Acciari will miss his 13th consecutive game for the Bruins as he recovers from a broken finger that required a plate and six screws to fix, but it looks like the hard-hitting fourth-liner will return this weekend against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Short-handed Bruins get numerous contributions in win over Wild
- Krejci skates at practice for the first time in nearly three weeks
- Pastrnak's puck management "an area of concern"
"It feels good to be back with the guys and to be a part of the team again," said Acciari. "The tough part is always the waiting part, but everything feels good right now. It's just about getting down the shot and the stride, and to start being hard on pucks again."
Acciari, 25, took part in the morning skate Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, but won’t play against the Rangers tonight after skating with the Bruins the past few days. After going through all the preparations as if Acciari might play in New York, however, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he should be ready to play either Friday or Saturday in the home-and-home Atlantic Division rivalry series against the Maple Leafs.
“Noel is day-to-day and won’t be in tonight obviously with the same lineup [as the win over Minnesota], but we’re shooting for Friday, and if not then Saturday. He’s that close,” said Cassidy. “It’s kind of a last little home stretch here for him [before he plays].”
Acciari played just 4:42 of ice time opening night against the Nashville Predators before blocking a shot with his hand that shattered his finger. The real question is which Bruins player is going to get taken out of the lineup to make room for Acciari? Many of their bottom-six skaters are playing their best hockey of the season. Tim Schaller is coming off the first multi-point game of his NHL career against the Minnesota Wild on Monday night, Sean Kuraly has goals in two of his past three games, Frank Vatrano ended a 25-game goal-scoring drought with a score vs. Minnesota and Matt Beleskey delivered the kind of high-energy, belligerent game that the Bruins have been waiting to see all year out of him.
Perhaps it might be Austin Czarnik, who has just one assist in three games and a minus-1 rating over that time period, but the diminutive forward has also played pretty decently since his AHL recall as well.
With Providence College alum Acciari's coming shortly, here are the projected line combos and D-pairs tonigiht vs. the Rangers based on morning skate: