BOSTON — Amid the celebration of Thursday's dramatic come-from-behind win over the Flyers, there was one bit of bad news for the Bruins.
Veteran defenseman Andrew Ference was injured during the second period. He finished that period, but did not skate a shift in the third. The exact nature and extent of the injury was not known, with Bruins coach Claude Julien unable to shed much light on the situation after the game.
"Yeah obviously I can't tell you much about it because he's being evaluated, the same as usual," Julien said. "I don't have the whole details right now and tomorrow for sure we'll update you guys on that."
The Bruins have already been hit with one key injury on the blue line with Mark Stuart sidelined with a broken hand. On Thursday morning, he skated with the team for the first time since suffering the injury in early December, but is still at least a week away.
If Ference is unable to play against the Penguins on Saturday, the Bruins would likely recall Matt Bartkowski, who made his NHL debut in his hometown of Pittsburgh on Monday when Adam McQuaid was sidelined for a game.
If Ference's injury is more of a long-term situation, it could solve a difficult dilemma for Julien to decide who to sit when Stuart returns. Rookie Steven Kampfer was called up to fill in for Stuart, but has already scored four goals, including the game-winner on Thursday.
Kampfer adds an offensive dimension previously lacking on Boston's blue line, while McQuaid has also provided a valuable physical presence.
Losing Ference would hurt as well though. He has been a steadying force on the back end this season. He has 2-5-7 totals this season and came into last night leading the team with a plus-18. But Ference has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. He missed 89 games over the last three seasons with a variety of injuries, and has not played more than 59 games in a year since playing 80 games while splitting the 2006-07 season between Calgary and Boston.
Ference was even in 12:55 over 16 shifts with two shots and two blocked shots before departing Thursday's game.