Report: Krejci has broken wrist
Loss would mean shuffling lineup
PHILADELPHIA — In Game 1, the Bruins lost one top-six forward for the season when Marco Sturm tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee. After last night, it appears they might have to do without a second skilled gunner.
David Krejci could be gone for the season if, as Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported, he suffered a fractured wrist when he was smoked by Mike Richards in the first period.
Krejci was injured seconds before Miroslav Satan scored at 5:45 of the period. Zdeno Chara had fished the puck off the left wall and sent an ill-advised suicide pass to Krejci in the middle of the ice. Just as Krejci looked down to take in the pass, Richards, who had been lurking in the neutral zone, exploded like a sprinter off the blocks.
“It was a clean hit,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “No issues there.’’
After Sturm’s injury, Shawn Thornton, a healthy scratch in Game 1, returned to the lineup in Game 2. Daniel Paille, who started Game 3 on the third line with Marc Savard and Michael Ryder, moved up to fill Sturm’s spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. Recchi has been one of the forwards substituting for Sturm on the penalty kill.
But with Krejci possibly out for an extended stretch, the Bruins will need to spread out his chores among their healthy forwards. Vladimir Sobotka, who started last night on the fourth line, took some shifts between Milan Lucic and Satan. Sobotka also took some shifts on the penalty kill, where Krejci usually plays with Blake Wheeler. Wheeler replaced Krejci on the first power-play unit. Krejci had been playing on the left half-boards with Bergeron on the No. 1 unit.
While Sobotka can fill Krejci’s spot, the Bruins will need to dress Trent Whitfield or Brad Marchand for Game 4. Both have been healthy scratches throughout the playoffs. Whitfield would be the logical choice because he is a center and has playoff experience (14 career postseason appearances, all for Washington). But the coaching staff could move Steve Begin, who started last night at left wing, back to center and bring Marchand in for energy.
If McQuaid is unavailable tomorrow, Mark Stuart could take his spot alongside Andrew Ference. Stuart, missing for the entire postseason because of an infection in his left hand, has yet to be cleared by the medical staff. But Julien didn’t rule out tomorrow’s Game 4 as a possibility.
“Game 4? I don’t know,’’ Julien said before last night’s game. “I haven’t been told by our medical crew that he’s cleared to go. Right now, we’re really working on getting him into game shape. Once we get the OK, then it will be our decision.’’
If neither Stuart nor McQuaid can play, Andy Wozniewski, Andrew Bodnarchuk, or Jeff Penner will get the nod. All three have been healthy scratches while practicing with the team.
“He’s strong,’’ Richards said. “I think he’s got enough respect [from referees and linesmen] that he’s allowed to cheat a little bit more. But faceoffs are about who cheats the most. It will be a lot easier to take faceoffs at home.’’
It is the second time an opponent has noted Bergeron’s tendency to cheat on draws.
“Bergeron always gets in first on every draw,’’ Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller said after the Sabres’ 4-1 win in Game 5 of the first-round series. “He always gets in first. He always ducks his head. And he always crowds. That’s his way of establishing.’’
Last night, Richards won 44 percent of his faceoffs (11 for 25). Against Bergeron, Richards went 6 for 13. Richards believed that playing at the Wachovia Center would make things easier on the draw. As the visitor, prior to each faceoff Bergeron must put his blade down first.
Bergeron won 12 of 18 faceoffs last night.
Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at email@example.com.