WILMINGTON, Mass. — Frank Vatrano was not present at Boston Bruins practice Friday, one day after suffering an upper body injury during a win over the Minnesota Wild.
Vatrano left early in the second period of Boston’s 4-2 victory after being hit hard into the boards by Wild defenseman Nate Prosser, further adding to the Bruins’ injury woes. Vatrano immediately exited down the tunnel and did not return.
“He’s been deemed day to day after looking at him (Friday),” head coach Claude Julien said after practice. “It’s good news, actually.”
The loss of the 21-year-old winger left Boston with just 11 available forwards, prompting Julien to use defenseman Joe Morrow as a winger on the fourth line for Friday’s practice.
Morrow, who has been a healthy scratch for each of the Bruins’ last six games, said after the session he can’t remember ever skating with the forwards.
“You give me another practice or two, I’d probably be comfortable enough to throw me in a game,” he said, before adding, “No, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t know what to do out there. It was fun, though, for a practice.”
Luckily for Morrow, Julien said he will not have to worry about being thrust into a new position when the Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
“Oh no, there’s going to be something happening before (Saturday),” Julien said. “We just tried to fill our roster up front there so we could have a half-decent practice. (Morrow) didn’t look bad, though.”
That “something” more than likely will be a call-up from Providence. Max Talbot, who’s bounced between the NHL and AHL this season, and Seth Griffith, who played 30 games for the Bruins in 2014-15, seem to be the most probable candidates.
Griffith is expected to return to the P-Bruins’ lineup Thursday after missing two games with a concussion, according to The Providence Journal’s Mark Divver. He has two goals and four assists in seven games for Providence this season.
Also absent from practice were defenseman Kevan Miller, who is out until after Thanksgiving with an upper body injury, and winger David Pastrnak, who remains sidelined with a cracked bone in his foot.
Here’s how the lines and pairings looked Friday:
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey — David Krejci — Loui Eriksson
Ryan Spooner — Joonas Kemppainen — Brett Connolly
Joe Morrow — Zac Rinaldo — Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara — Zach Trotman
Dennis Seidenberg — Colin Miller
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid
Some additional notes from Friday:
— Matt Beleskey won’t receive supplemental discipline for his slash to the leg of Wild forward Jason Zucker in the closing seconds of Thursday’s game, a source told CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
— It sounds like Morrow won’t be lining up at wing Saturday night. But if he ever does so in the future, he’d be wise to take some pointers from fellow defenseman Torey Krug, who played up in the forwards for one game late in the 2013-14 season.
“I did that two years ago in Minnesota,” Krug said. “I’d say just keep the game simple. It’s a different game up there, for sure.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow during a game against the Rangers.