While the Bruins went through their final regular-season practice on TD Garden ice, two of their toughest defensemen remained on the sideline with injuries. While most of the team is healthy and playing at a high level, neither Johnny Boychuk nor Adam McQuaid skated with the team at practice.
Boychuk is recovering from a left knee sprain suffered Tuesday. McQuaid, playing in his first game after missing three with a cut over his left eye, left Thursday’s game with Ottawa because he wasn’t feeling well.
“Boychuk is improving as predicted; he continues to be day to day,’’ said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “Same thing with McQuaid; he’s a day to day and they decided they wanted to keep him off today.’’
Julien added there was no concern about a new McQuaid injury.
“We’re just being overcautious right now because, again, this is the time of year we can be. We want to he heading into the playoffs as healthy as can be.’’
Tomorrow’s opponent, Buffalo, has been eliminated from playoff contention, leaving the Sabres little to play for but pride. Whether that makes them dangerous is unclear.
“I expect a good game,’’ said Julien. “When teams like that get eliminated, you think they’re throwing in the towel but there’s one thing you have an opportunity to do is play that last game and at least leave with a win. That’s as positive as it can get right now.’’
Julien said he did not anticipate giving any of his regulars a rest day in the season finale, but reserved the right to change his mind at any point before game time. He did say that the three who did not play in Ottawa — goalie Tim Thomas, defenseman Zdeno Chara, and forward Patrice Bergeron — would play against the Sabres.
Forward Lane MacDermid had a quick stay in Boston after GM Peter Chiarelli announced the big forward had been assigned to the Providence Bruins. He joined the B’s for the trip to Ottawa Thursday, but was a healthy scratch for the team’s victory over the Senators.