Bruins

Patrice Bergeron is nearing a return to the Bruins’ lineup

The Bruins captain could play on Thursday after missing the team's last two games with a head injury.

Patrice Bergeron Bruins
Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins shoots the puck against the Seattle Kraken at the TD Garden on February 1. The Bruins captain could return to action Thursday. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Bruins could be about to get a much-needed boost in their pursuit to hold onto the team’s tenuous place in the Eastern Conference standings as their captain, Patrice Bergeron, gets set to return.

Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy announced Tuesday Bergeron will practice on Wednesday with an eye toward playing Thursday night against the New York Islanders. The coach had previously told reporters Monday Bergeron would remain out of the lineup against the New York Rangers Tuesday night but would likely join the team on the road if he continued his progress.

After he went down in the third period of the Bruins’ 4-2 loss to the Penguins last Tuesday, Boston got whacked 6-0 by the Hurricanes before rebounding with a win over the Senators on Saturday. As of now, Boston currently sits eighth in points in the Eastern Conference and can’t afford to cede more ground with two months to go in the season.

The Bruins might also get defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who suffered an upper-body injury Thursday, back for this New York road trip, with Cassidy calling Grzelcyk “probable” for Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. Urho Vaakanainen, on the other hand, will miss at least one more game due to the upper-body injury that has kept him out for the last three games.

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There’s also uncertainty about when Brad Marchand will be able to return as he appeals his six-game suspension for punching Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry in the helmet late in the Penguins loss. He has already served two games of that ban, but shortening it could only help the Bruins’ cause.

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