BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins wouldn’t call it a setback with Riley Nash when he was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday, but it certainly looks to be the case as he was ruled out of Game 1 of their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night after he was again missing from the ice at practice on Wednesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
Coach Bruce Cassidy said Nash worked out off the ice Wednesday, will skate Thursday morning and hasn't been ruled out for Game 2 on Saturday.
Nash skated on Monday after missing the final five games of the regular season after taking a puck to the side of the head that opened up a wound needing 40-plus stitches to close.
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It would appear there might be more going on than with Nash than simply swelling and pain management at this point.
That’s too bad given Nash’s career year for the Black and Gold where he provided solid offensive punch (career-highs 15 goals and 41 points) as a third-line center and kind of acted as a poor man’s Patrice Bergeron with good two-way ability, excellent penalty killing and smart responsible play in all zones.
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Nash’s absence will most definitely take some offensive punch away from the third line after they were excellent earlier this season when Danton Heinen, Nash and David Backes were all healthy and playing together.
Noel Acciari appears to be the replacement for Nash as a third-line center while making his return to practice on Wednesday after a maintenance day. It also looks as if Brian Gionta and Ryan Donato will be the scratches for Game 1, along with defenseman Nick Holden.