Bruins

Bruins will be missing key player against Wild

Bruins

Winners of three straight games since returning from a COVID-19-induced hiatus, the Boston Bruins will be without their No. 1 defenseman as they go for their fourth in a row.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday that Charlie McAvoy is dealing with a lingering lower body injury and won't play against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden, but it doesn't sound like he'll miss much time beyond that.

"It's a lingering issue from last weekend that he played through the other night, but I don't think it's long term," Cassidy said. "It's lower body, so getting him an extra day will probably help, but I would anticipate he'll be back in Saturday." 

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McAvoy had a goal and four assists in Boston's wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings over the weekend, bringing him up to five goals and 15 assists for 20 points on the season. He was held off the scoresheet in 24:15 of ice time against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

The Bruins begin a quick two-game road trip on Saturday against the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, who've won each of the last two Stanley Cup titles.

Veteran John Moore will replace McAvoy in the lineup vs. Minnesota, Cassidy said, but the team also recalled 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen from AHL Providence on an emergency basis. Over 16 NHL games -- though none this season -- Vaakanainen has no goals and two assists to go along with a minus-2 rating.