Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Bruins center Riley Nash (concussion-like symptoms) is doubtful for Game 2

Sara Civian
April 13, 2018 - 2:39 pm

Bruins center Riley Nash developed concussion-like symptoms from the ear laceration that’s kept him out of the lineup since Mar. 31, he confirmed Friday at Warrior Ice Arena.

“I had some symptoms, that, I don’t know if it was a concussion or it wasn’t,” he said. “Obviously taking a puck to the side of the skull like that isn’t going to feel great. I don’t know if it was a little bit of swelling causing the symptoms, but I think in this day in age -- it’s the NHL protocol now to go through steps, [you have to] jump through a bunch of the loopholes before you get back."

Out of action since taking that Torey Krug slapshot to his ear, which ultimately required 40-plus stitches to patch up, Monday served as the first day Nash returned to the ice. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was initially optimistic Nash would return for Game 2 Saturday, but the Friday outlook appeared more bleak.

“I don’t believe he’ll play tomorrow,” Cassidy said. “We’ll make that decision tomorrow, he’s trending well, but tomorrow looks doubtful.”

“My ear was kinda hanging on for dear life, so I’m just happy to have it,” Nash said. “It was a freak accident, stuff happens. Just have to put it in the past and move on.”

With Nash still on the shelf, Noel Acciari shifted into his third-line center spot for Game 1. Nash’s prowess on the penalty kill and reliable, “matchup guy” style of play are missed, but it clearly isn’t the end of the world for the Bruins. Their 5-1 win over Toronto featured a kind of center-by-committee approach, with David Backes splitting up some of the responsibility.

Cassidy put Acciari and Backes together again Friday, but Ryan Donato swapped in for Danton Heinen on their left wing. The 21-year-old Donato had recorded five goals and nine points in 12 regular-season contests before sitting as a scratch in Thursday's Game 1.

“We plan on using Ryan, we just wanted it to be the right time,” Cassidy explained his decision to scratch the rookie. “If he went in, we do prefer him on the left wing as opposed to center or right.”

Tommy Wingels is being evaluated by doctors today following a multi-faceted dirty hit from Nazem Kadri (Player Safety hearing pending) took him out of Game 1 in the third period. He’s questionable for Game 2.

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