BOSTON — The Bruins held an optional practice Monday morning at TD Garden before heading to Detroit for Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Red Wings.
Most of the team did not skate, but a few Bruins players who have battled injuries and/or the flu bug were present.
That group included winger Daniel Paille, who hasn’t played since taking a huge hit against the Buffalo Sabres on April 12. Paille has skated over the last few days, but his status for Game 3 is unknown. Bruins head coach Claude Julien said Paille skating is “a step in the right direction.”
Young defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who hasn’t played against the Red Wings and has fought the flu for the better part of a week, also skated Monday morning.
Veteran blueliners Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid skated with Bruins strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. This has become a regular occurrence over the last couple of days.
“I think (Seidenberg is) on track right now, maybe even a little ahead of the curve because of his conditioning and how strong he was even before that injury” Julien said after practice. “He’s a well-trained individual. Athletes have a tendency to recover a little quicker than a normal person.”
One injured player who did not skate Monday and hasn’t since suffering a lower body injury on April 8 against the Minnesota Wild is third-line winger Chris Kelly.
“There’s a certain route you have to take,” Julien said when asked if he needed to see Kelly practice and take contact before returning to the lineup. “It’s a day-to-day process.”
Julien said after Game 2 that all injured and sick players will accompany the team to Detroit.
Game 3 is Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena, with the series tied at 1-1.
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