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Noel Acciari cleared to return to Bruins lineup, expected to play in Game 3 04.17.17 at 6:30 pm ET
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Noel Acciari is expected to play tonight against the Sens. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Noel Acciari is expected to play tonight against the Sens. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

The Bruins have had to make do through the first two games of their round one series with the Senators without a good chunk of their NHL regulars. About six of them, to be exact. They’ve probably done about as well as you’d expect, too, as they arrive back in Boston for tonight’s pivotal Game 3 at TD Garden with the series tied at 1-1.

The Bruins are expected to get at least one of those six back in action tonight though in bottom-six energy winger Noel Acciari, who suffered an upper-body injury in the year’s 81st game, and has missed the last three games.

“Noel’s cleared,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the morning skate at TD Garden. “If he goes in, he’s gonna start with Dom and Nash. We liked that line before he got injured.”

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Sorting out the ‘puzzle’ the Bruins have on defense 04.17.17 at 1:46 pm ET
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The Bruins will be without at least three of their regular defensemen tonight. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins will remain without at least three of their regular defensemen tonight. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

David Krejci may give it a go for tonight’s Game 3 at TD Garden, but the Bruins remain a battered bunch, especially on their backend.

In a straight-up ridiculous week-plus of hockey that’s seen the Bruins lose four defenders in four straight games, with Adam McQuaid being the latest to go down, the club’s point is a confusing mess, even with two more bodies recalled from Providence for today’s morning skate.

With Tommy Cross and Matt Grzelcyk in town — and Brandon Carlo, Torey Krug, and McQuaid still missing from the ice — the Bruins rolled out some of the strangest defensive pairings you’ll see in April.

“Our blue line looks a bit like a puzzle that we’re piecing together,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the morning skate.

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Bruins center David Krejci will be a gametime decision for Game 3 04.17.17 at 12:11 pm ET
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David Krejci will be a gametime decision tonight. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Bruins center David Krejci took part in the morning skate and will be a gametime decision tonight. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

After three long years away, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are back in Boston. And one of the staples of meaningful springtime hockey in town, Bruins center David Krejci, may join in on the fun as well.

Out of action for the first two games of this series, which comes to TD Garden tied at 1-1, Krejci was a full participant in today’s morning skate and will also take part in the game’s pregame warmup with the hopes that he’s ready to return from his upper-body injury.

“We’ll see how it goes tonight,” Krejci, who took part in Game 1’s pregame skate but was deemed unavailable shortly before puck drop, said when asked if he’s ready to play. “I felt better yesterday, today I felt better than yesterday, so we’ll see how it goes.”

“Krejci will be a gametime decision, he’ll go for warmups,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed. “He obviously skated this morning, [he’s] feeling better.”

The 30-year-old Krejci took the first line rushes between a line with Drew Stafford on the left and David Backes on the right, and after playing in all 82 games during the regular season, Krejci has an itch to get back into action.

“It was really disappointing. Playing all 82 games and then you have to miss the first two games of the playoffs, it was definitely disappointing, frustrating, but what can you do?” Krejci, who scored 23 goals and 54 points (both ranked as the third-most among B’s skaters) this season, said. “You gotta work hard to get back at it, I’ve been doing that, and see how it goes tonight.”

Krejci, who has twice led the postseason in scoring in his NHL career, has 29 goals and 77 points in 93 career postseason tilts.

Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo skates, but remains ‘doubtful’ for Game 3 04.16.17 at 2:25 pm ET
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The Bruins do not expect Brandon Carlo to play in Game 3. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins do not expect Brandon Carlo to play in Game 3. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins still do not who their sixth defenseman will be tomorrow, but it doesn’t sound like it will be Brandon Carlo.

Injured in the regular season finale on a hit from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin that drove Carlo into the boards face first, the 20-year-old Carlo has missed the first two games of the club’s round one series with the Senators with what’s been called an upper-body injury, but a positive came with his return back to the ice for today’s optional practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

In a workout short on any sort of real battle drills, Carlo’s skate was ‘OK’ according to Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, and while that’s a sign of progress, again, it’s not one that’s expected to land the first-year pro back in the lineup for a pivotal Game 3 at TD Garden.

“He’s day-to-day,” Cassidy said of Carlo. “But tomorrow is doubtful.”

Carlo, one of three Bruins players to have skated in all 82 games during the regular season, recorded six goals and 16 points, along with a plus-9 rating and 20:48 of ice-time per night.

Flames broadcast team doesn’t realize their mics are on, rip Dougie Hamilton to shreds 04.16.17 at 1:31 pm ET
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Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton has had a hell of season in Calgary, but don’t tell Calgary’s broadcast team that.

In his second season with the Flames since demanding a trade out of Boston, the former ninth overall pick in 2011 recorded a career-best 13 goals and 50 points during the regular season, which ranked as the ninth-most points among NHL defenders.

The playoffs have been a bit of a different story for the 6-foot-5 defenseman, however, as he’s taken four minors in two games of the club’s round one series with the Ducks, including the penalty that led to Anaheim’s game-winning goal late in last night’s Game 2.

He, and everyone else for that matter, heard about it, too, as the Flames broadcast team went off on Hamilton, seemingly unaware that their mics were on.

(Watch and listen to their comments here.)

Announcer one: “Brodie’s is … that’s just a complete lack of … you got no composure when you’re doing that. He’s down already.”

Announcer two: “If you don’t rip Dougie Hamilton, I will. Stupidest [expletive] penalty you can take.”

Announcer one: “How about the T.J. Brodie one, too? But you’re right, that Dougie Hamilton one.”

Announcer two: “Does he have a [expletive] brain?”

Announcer one: “He doesn’t. He’s stupid as [expletive].”

Announcer two: “I don’t know him that well.”

Announcer one: “He’s not an intelligent guy.”

Announcer two: “You’re Mr. Flames, so you probably know him better than I do.”

Woof, that is rough.

Hamilton and the Flames, by the way, did not agree with the call.

Bruins lose Adam McQuaid to injury in overtime loss to Senators 04.15.17 at 7:42 pm ET
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Adam McQuaid was injured in the first period of Saturday's Game 2 loss to the Senators. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

Adam McQuaid was injured in the first period of Saturday’s Game 2 loss to the Senators. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

At this rate, the Bruins are going to run out of defensemen by Game 5.

The Bruins lost Torey Krug in the 81st game of the regular season. He has yet to return. The Bruins then lost Brandon Carlo in the 82nd game of the season. He’s still out of action. Colin Miller fell to a lower-body injury in Game 1 on Wednesday, and was not deemed ready to go for today’s Game 2 after a Friday practice that finished without Miller on the ice. And now, after just a few shifts in the first period of Saturday’s Game 2 meeting at the Canadian Tire Center, Adam McQuaid has made it four games and four injuries for the B’s battered defense.

Down the tunnel with six minutes left in the first period after seven shifts and 2:47 of ice-time, McQuaid’s injury (labeled an upper-body injury) immediately dropped the B’s, who were already dressing Joe Morrow for his first NHL game since Jan. 22, down to five defensemen.

And while they were able to survive his departure for a little while behind a massive uptick in minutes for Kevan Miller and Charlie McAvoy, the loss of the hard-hitting McQuaid ultimately showed the longer the game went on.

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Bad puck management from Bruins allows Sens to complete Game 2 comeback 04.15.17 at 7:08 pm ET
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The Senators overcame a 3-1 deficit to win Game 2. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

The Senators overcame a 3-1 deficit to win Game 2. (Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports)

The second period was where things almost fell apart for the Bruins in Game 1. But like they have in almost every game since Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien in February, the Bruins adjusted and put forth what was probably their best period of a five-frame sample.

And they did it with yet another defensive injury, too.

But it was the third period where the Black and Gold allowed the Senators to take control of this game and ultimately paved the way for a 4-3 overtime final that will send this series back to Boston tied at 1-1.

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