BOSTON – The Bruins beat the Washington Capitals on Monday night, but they may have paid a steep price for their rare victory.
With Zdeno Chara out of the lineup due to a procedure on his jaw, Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy both were knocked out of Boston’s 7-3 win over the Capitals at TD Garden after big hits from Capitals players.
Krug was knocked out in the second period after Washington heavy hitter Tom Wilson drilled the undersized defenseman against the side boards by the Capitals' bench. Krug immediately crumpled into a ball and exited for the Bruins dressing room after getting off the ice.
T.J. Oshie then smoked Charlie McAvoy with a hard hit in front of the Washington bench in the third period.
It appeared the Capitals forward wasn’t attempting to play the puck at all, and instead cleaned out an off-balance McAvoy skating hard for a puck near the offensive blue line. McAvoy had difficulty getting off the ice and didn’t return to the game with the victory already well in hand for Boston.
It remains to be seen if Oshie gets any blowback from NHL Player Safety for targeting a vulnerable player in McAvoy with the puck never really in the close vicinity.
The initial reports on McAvoy seemed pretty good despite concern about a concussion following the violent hit, but the prognosis for Krug was a bit more unclear with what was being termed an upper body injury.
"We’ll see how he is," head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. "Obviously didn’t come back so that’s always a concern, but until he gets looked at further [postgame] we won’t know.
"Charlie, went and saw him, he seems to be okay. But again, until he gets looked at (we won't know)."
Given the impact Wilson made with Krug, it looked like a potential shoulder injury for the B’s defenseman, as that area absorbed all of the impact with the 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger.
The Bruins did a good job with Krug done after just 8:44 of ice time and McAvoy knocked out of the game in the third period. John Moore played a team-high 26:40 of ice time and Brandon Carlo topped 25 minutes as well in a game that was never really in doubt for the B's.
The good news for the Bruins is they now have three days off over the Christmas break to heal up, and they anticipate Chara will be ready to return on Friday night in Buffalo.