|Chris Kelly nears return from upper-body injury||11.26.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Chris Kelly was back practicing with the Bruins Wednesday after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury suffered in last Friday’s shootout win over the Blue Jackets.
Kelly said the injury was not related to last season’s back issues and was also not a head injury. When asked specifically what it was, he said “hurt feelings.”
The veteran center also noted that the injury did not occur on a specific play. He hopes to return to the lineup Friday against the Jets.
“I think we thought it was better to be on the cautious side of things,” Kelly said. “I think it’s exactly kind of what we thought. So I felt good today and and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Kelly took contact and centered a fourth line with a rotating cast of wingers in Seth Griffith, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser on Wednesday.
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|David Pastrnak moved to Patrice Bergeron’s line in practice; Zdeno Chara, David Warsofsky continue skating||11.26.14 at 10:27 am ET|
WILMINGTON – David Warsofsky and Zdeno Chara continued their respective recoveries Wednesday, skating prior to the Bruins’ practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Chara, who is working his way back from a torn PCL, is expected to be out another week-plus. Warsofsky suffered a groin injury earlier in the month and has not played since.
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Lucic – Soderberg – Eriksson
Smith – Kelly – Griffith (Fraser)
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
Pastrnak played sparingly in his NHL debut Monday but was given four shifts with Bergeron in the third period.
|Bruins recall Seth Griffith, send Alexander Khokhlachev and Jordan Caron to Providence||11.25.14 at 5:22 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled right wing Seth Griffith and returned forwards Alexander Khokhlachev and Jordan Caron to Providence Tuesday.
Griffith, who is tied for the team lead with five goals this season, was a victim of the waiver process and roster limit Monday, as the B’s had to demote him to stay at the 23-man roster limit with Brad Marchand coming off injured reserve.
The Bruins recalled Khokhlachev last week and brought up Caron on Sunday. Khokhlachev played in Boston’s last three games and scored the shootout winner in Friday’s victory over the Blue Jackets, but he was given just 2:53 of ice time in Monday’s overtime loss to the Penguins. Caron played only 3:35 on Monday.
The Bruins don’t play again until Friday. That gives them time to either determine the health of ailing players (David Krejci and Chris Kelly have both missed multiple consecutive games) or make more callups and demotions.
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|5 things we learned as Bruins fell to Penguins in overtime||11.24.14 at 9:41 pm ET|
In a perfect world, Milan Lucic would play with a healthy David Krejci and the two would anchor Boston’s top offensive line. With Krejci still battling through lower-body issues that have dogged him all season, that can’t happen and Boston’s best bet is skating Lucic on Carl Soderberg’s line and bumping that up to being the team’s second line.
On Monday, that line was very effective for Boston. Matched up against Evgeni Malkin’s line, the Lucic-Soderberg-Eriksson trio created numerous scoring chances, one of which led to a Lucic goal that started with Soderberg sending a spin-o-rama pass behind his back to Eriksson down low.
Malkin would strike on a second-period power-play goal, however, and would then provide the overtime dagger against Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 overtime win.
Soderberg appeared to have a goal later in the second period when a rebound of a Lucic tip went off him and into the net, but it was ruled no goal after officials concluded that Soderberg had knocked the puck in with his hand.
Here are four other things we learned Monday:
BRUINS’ AIM FOR NET-FRONT PRESENCE DOESN’T WORK FOR OFFICIALS
The Bruins had trouble getting to the net Saturday against the Canadiens. They had trouble getting away with being in front of the net Monday.
A Patrice Bergeron goal was disallowed in the first period after it was determined that he knocked a rebound from Marc-Andre Fleury into the net with a high stick. The rule on the ice was a goal, but the other three officials ruled it no goal, with the replay confirming that Bergeron’s stick was above the cross bar.
That worst of it came later in the period, when Reilly Smith was the victim of a goaltender interference call. With Dougie Hamilton taking a shot from the point, Smith went to the net and was shoved into Fleury at the top of the crease. It was a tough break for Smith, who couldn’t get out of the way.
|Bruins send Seth Griffith to Providence as Brad Marchand comes off injured reserve||11.24.14 at 4:38 pm ET|
The Bruins assigned forward Seth Griffith to Providence Monday, an indication that Brad Marchand could be nearing a return to the lineup. Marchand was taken off injured reserve prior to Monday’s game against the Penguins.
With Marchand off IR, the Bruins would have been over their roster limit of 23 players. By sending Griffith down, the team avoided exposing a player to waivers. Griffith is tied for the team lead with five goals, so there’s a chance he won’t be in Providence for long. The Bruins’ next game after Monday is Friday.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|David Pastrnak hopes added weight makes him strong enough for NHL||11.24.14 at 1:03 pm ET|
David Pastrnak obviously isn’t close to being the player he’ll one day be at the NHL level, but the usual shortcomings of a young skilled player are all worth overlooking for the 2014 first-round pick. The only true road block on the ice for Pastrnak playing in Boston this year was going to be his size.
“To throw someone [in] at that age, at that weight…” Peter Chiarelli said, making a face when speaking at the conclusion of July’s development camp. “But there’s been guys that have done it.”
The 5-foot-10 right wing weighed 165 pounds when the Bruins got their hands on him in June’s draft. He was offensively sensational at points during a rookie tournament in Tennessee in September, but he didn’t seem well-suited for board work and was easily pushed away from the net by opposing defensemen. In his second NHL practice, he suffered a shoulder injury on a check from Matt Bartkowski.
Now, after dazzling at the AHL level with five goals and 13 assists for 18 points through 17 games for Providence thus far and being named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month in October, Pastrnak is in Boston and preparing for what could be his NHL debut Monday night against the Penguins.
He’s shown that he has adjusted to the smaller ice in North America after growing up in the Czech Republic and playing the last two years in Sweden, but as he heads to the NHL, the questions of whether he can handle the physicality of hockey’s toughest league aren’t going away.
Pastrnak hopes he can help answer those questions after putting on some weight in Providence. He said he’s bulked up a bit in Providence, guessing that he is currently up to 176 pounds and that the extra weight feels good.
“I feel a lot stronger on the puck and around the boards and in battling,” Pastrnak said. “I think it helps me. I like it. I didn’t lose my speed so much. That’s what I was looking for.”
Pastrnak skated on a line with Jordan Caron and Alexander Khokhlachev in Monday’s morning skate. That has been his line in Providence this season, so the trio at least has familiarity going for it.
When asked about the 18-year-old’s development, Claude Julien spoke about the strides Pastrnak has made as a defensive player. Pastrnak has long looked up to David Krejci, a Czech player who he feels is capable of being dominant offensively while also being responsible in his own zone.
“I think, right now, that’s what David is trying to learn in Providence,” Julien said. “We know how dynamically he makes things happen. He’s a skill player, can score goals but we don’t expect perfection but you have to be at least a little bit reliable defensively.
“That’s what he’s working on over there and he’s gotten better, so that’s where we’re at with him and I guess, like you guys, I’m going to find out a little bit more about him if he plays tonight.”
|Carl Soderberg, Tuukka Rask get into light altercation at Bruins morning skate||11.24.14 at 11:53 am ET|
Soderberg was in Rask’s face when Julien skated over and yelled to separate the two players. Rask is no stranger to losing his temper in practice (he’s stormed off the ice multiple times over the years), but hard feelings have never seemed to linger with the goaltender, who has long been popular among his teammates.
After the morning skate, Rask indicated that he and Soderberg were fine.
“Yeah,” Rask said with a laugh. “Something for you guys to write about.”
Julien was asked about the tussle and, predictably, said all was well.
“It wasn’t even a tussle,” Julien said. “They’ve already kissed and made up, so it’s not an issue.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
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