BOSTON — The Bruins earned a point with a third-period comeback Saturday against St. Louis, but they may have lost more than just another point in the shootout.
Before reaching the shootout, top-line center David Krejci was injured on a viscous, but clean hit from Blues forward T.J. Oshie 44 seconds into overtime. Oshie and Krejci collided at center ice as they both went after the puck, and Krejci took a double blow as he was blasted by Oshie, then slammed into the side boards.
Krejci stayed down for several minutes before skating off on his own power and heading directly to the Bruins' locker room. He did not return, and the Bruins did not have an update on his condition immediately after the game.
"Not yet, obviously he got rattled, he got his bell rung there and we don’t know what the severity is of it is right now," said coach Claude Julien after the game.
"He’s here [at the Garden]," added Julien when asked if Krejci had been taken to a hospital. "I haven’t even seen him. He’s here, you know, I’ve been told he’s being evaluated."
Losing Krejci for any length of time would be a serious blow to the Bruins, who are already without center Marc Savard, who remains on long-term injured reserve with post-concussion syndrome symptoms.
Krejci's loss to a dislocated wrist last spring against Philadelphia was the one injury the Bruins couldn't overcome in the playoffs. He had recovered fully from that injury this year and is tied for second on the team with 10 points, including a team-high eight assists through 11 games.
"He's one of our best players and you don't want to see him get hurt," said linemate Nathan Horton. "I'm not really sure what happened or what's wrong, but hopefully he'll be OK and he'll be back out."
While the exact nature and severity of Krejci's injury is unknown at this point, at least one of his teammates is remaining optimistic.
"Hopefully he's all right," said forward Michael Ryder. "I think he skated off on his own. Guys were beside him, but I think he was skating on his own, so that's a good sign."
Oshie was also hopeful that Krejci was not seriously hurt, while defending the hit he made on him.
"It was two guys going for the puck," said Oshie. "I tried to get low and get a good center of gravity. It looked like he was coming to hit me as well. It was a hard battle tonight. It was a physical game. I certainly hope that he is OK and he'll be right back."
There was some skepticism about Oshie's intent.
"I was on the ice so it was tough to see," said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference. "It was a quick thing. You are kind of watching the puck. It was right before that I saw Oshie picking his elbow up on another guy on hits and he followed through pretty high on a couple other ones. I'm not sure if it was him that did the damage to Krech or if it was the boards because I think he smacked his head off the boards. When you're on the ice you can't tell those things."
The hit seemed to take some of the wind out of the Boston's sails as they couldn't net the winner in OT and fell 2-1 in the shootout, but the Bruins weren't using Krejci's injury as an excuse.
"Nobody likes to see that," said center Greg Campbell. "He's an important player for us. But we have to be mentally strong enough that we can overcome that, especially at that point of the game."
The Bruins just hope they won't have to overcome playing without Krejci for any length of time.
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