After watching Marty Turco practice for the first with the Bruins on Wednesday afternoon, coach Claude Julien wasn't sure how long it would take for the veteran to be ready to face NHL competition again.
But Julien was pretty certain that the Bruins would not be carrying three goaltenders for long now that Turco had cleared waivers and joined the club.
That proved accurate as rookie Michael Hutchinson was returned to Providence Wednesday evening. Hutchinson dressed for two games after being recalled following Tuukka Rask's groin injury on Saturday, but did not appear in either game while backing up Tim Thomas.
Turco will now serve as Thomas' backup and is expected to dress for the first time as a Bruin Thursday against Buffalo, though his first action will likely not come until he's had a little longer to re-acclimate himself to NHL action after most recently playing in Austria.
The Bruins also recalled forward Max Sauve from Providence on an emergency basis Wednesday night. He will be on hand in case Benoit Pouliot is unable to play Thursday.
Pouliot left Tuesday's win in Toronto early in the second period and did not return. He did not practice Wednesday and has been listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
With Daniel Paille (upper body), Nathan Horton (concussion) and Rich Peverley (knee) already sidelined, the Bruins had just 11 healthy forwards available for practice, and will need Sauve to play just to have a full complement of 12 forwards if Pouliot cannot go against the Sabres.
Sauve has been recalled three times in the last two weeks but has yet to make his NHL debut. He has 7-10-17 totals in 29 games with Providence this season.
Pouliot's injury comes at a bad time for the streaky forward. In addition to how shorthanded the Bruins are up front, he was also just breaking out of a long slump. After going eight games without a point and managing just one point in 17 games, Pouliot scored a goal Sunday against the Rangers and added two assists in just 4:50 of ice time Tuesday before departing. He had formed an effective third line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron, giving the Bruins a much-needed offensive spark in the last two games.