Injuries to Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Connor Clifton could put Bruins in bind for Game 3

Scott McLaughlin
April 14, 2019 - 1:29 am
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Game 2 was a complete 180 from the Bruins' poor effort in Game 1. They were faster, they more physical, they managed pucks better, and they came away with a dominant 4-1 win to show for it.

But it wasn't all positive. While we don't know the extent of any of these injuries yet, the Bruins did have some guys get banged up, creating some question marks as the series shifts to Toronto.

Defenseman Torey Krug was shaken up on a huge -- and clean -- hit from Toronto's Jake Muzzin in the second period and was visibly woozy as he tried to get up and get back to the bench. He did not return to the game.

Forward Jake DeBrusk got crosschecked in the head by Nazem Kadri with 5:57 left in the third, was also slow to get up, and also did not return after that. Krug and DeBrusk both underwent testing, presumably to check for concussions. Coach Bruce Cassidy cautioned after the game not to make any assumptions about concussions, though.

Another defenseman, Connor Clifton, also suffered an unspecified injury in the third period and did not return.

If one of the defensemen has to miss Monday's Game 3, Steven Kampfer, who has been a healthy scratch for the first two games, would be next in line. If Krug and Clifton are both out, that's where things get dicey.

John Moore is getting close to a return, but may not be ready by Monday night. Kevan Miller is expected to miss the whole first round. That would mean the Bruins would have to call up someone from Providence, but here's the problem with that: the P-Bruins are also battling the injury bug on defense.

Jeremy Lauzon, who played 16 games with the Bruins this season, has missed Providence's last two games with an injury. Urho Vaakanainen, who was called up for two games earlier this season, has also missed the last two games due to an illness. That could leave Jakub Zboril, who's also played two games for Boston this year, but who also reportedly struggled with Don Sweeney in attendance Friday night.

Up front, the Bruins at least have bodies, but they don't have many forwards who can fill a second-line role and play the kind of fast-paced, hard-hitting game DeBrusk played Saturday night. Marcus Johansson, who missed Game 2 due to illness, would be a natural pick to draw back into the lineup assuming he's over his illness by Monday.

Obviously the Bruins hope Krug, DeBrusk and Clifton will all be cleared in time for Game 3, but they have to be ready for Plan B and C if not.

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