UPDATE (1 p.m. ET): Patrice Bergeron will not play Saturday for the Boston Bruins against the Minnesota Wild, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters before the game.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Boston Bruins could be without their best player Saturday afternoon as they visit the reeling Minnesota Wild.
Center Patrice Bergeron was absent from practice Friday after appearing to suffer an injury during a fight Thursday night with Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler. It remains to be seen whether Bergeron will be healthy enough to play against the Wild, as Bruins coach Claude Julien deemed him questionable for the matinee matchup.
Bergeron, who has yet to miss a game this season, logged a season-low 14:25 of ice time in the 6-2 win over the Jets, including just 3:15 in the third period.
“You don’t like seeing your star players (fight), but you also understand that it’s an emotional game and there’s stuff that happens,” Julien told reporters Friday, via BostonBruins.com. “And at one point, a player says, ‘You know what? Enough is enough here. I’m going to stand up for myself here.’ ”
As a precaution in case Bergeron is unable to go, the Bruins on Friday recalled center Joonas Kemppainen from Providence.
Boston has gone 3-1-1 since the NHL All-Star break, while the Wild have lost seven in a row and 12 of their last 13.
Here are Saturday’s projected lines and pairings:
BOSTON BRUINS (29-19-6)
Brad Marchand — Ryan Spooner — Brett Connolly
Matt Beleskey — David Krejci — David Pastrnak
Loui Eriksson — Joonas Kemppainen — Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo — Max Talbot — Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara — Zach Trotman
Joe Morrow — Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
MINNESOTA WILD (23-21-10)
Zach Parise — Mikko Koivu — Charlie Coyle
Nino Niederreiter — Mikael Granlund — Jason Pominville
Thomas Vanek — Eric Haula — Justin Fontaine
Ryan Carter — Jarret Stoll — Jason Zucker
Ryan Suter — Christian Folin
Marco Scandella — Matt Dumba
Nate Prosser — Mike Reily
Thumbnail photo via Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron