WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins returned to practice Saturday at Ristuccia Arena, a rare opportunity of late to work on things as the heavy slate of games this month has provided few chances for the club to practice.

But not all of the Bruins were able to take advantage of the practice time. Forwards David Krejci, Jordan Caron and Marco Sturm have all been hit with a flu bug and did not participate. Caron was already sick and missed Friday's game against Carolina with the illness.

Caron and Krejci will not travel with the team to Atlanta on Saturday, but could join the team there on Sunday before their 5 p.m. game with the Thrashers.

"They're obviously not very good because they're not here," said Bruins coach Claude Julien of Krejci and Caron. "Both won't be on the plane either. Whether they join us tomorrow, who knows?

"I think we have to figure that out over the course of this day here," said Julien. "Obviously if we don't get any of those forwards back, we're going to have to look at maybe calling somebody up. If that's not the case, you'll end up with seven D's."

Later Saturday afternoon, the Bruins announced that forward Jamie Arniel has indeed been recalled from Providence on an emergency basis. He will travel with the club to Atlanta and could make his NHL debut if neither Krejci nor Caron is able to join the club and Sunday and play. 

Sturm would not be playing regardless, as he continues to work his way back from offseason knee surgery. He has been practicing with the team for the past week, but sat out Saturday's workout because of the flu.

"He's got a bit of the flu as well," said Julien of Sturm. "We pulled all those guys out and kept them away from our other players."

While that trio rested, Julien put the rest of the squad through its paces, spending plenty of time on special teams after Carolina struck for three goals on three power-play chances while Boston was 0 for 4 with the man-advantage in Friday's 3-0 loss.

"We could use the practice," said Julien. "With the schedule that we've had, it's been really hard to get those practices in."