BOSTON — The Boston Bruins tied up their first round Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at TD Garden thanks to an energized effort from the Black and Gold.
It wasn’t all good news, however, as Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk and Connor Clifton all left the game with injuries.
Let’s start with Krug.
After Jake Muzzin slammed Krug into the boards late in the second period, the Bruins defenseman laid on the ice before attempting to get back on his feet. He was able to get up, but clearly was shaken and immediately fell back to his hands and knees. The 27-year-old then was helped to the tunnel and would not return to the game.
At first glance, many assumed that Krug had suffered a concussion, but head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win to wait before making any assumptions.
“I don’t think you should assume he’s concussed,” Cassidy said. “We don’t know that yet.”
The Bruins head coach then continued to discuss their suddenly-depleted defensive depth, with Clifton exiting Game 2 in the third period. Cassidy didn’t elaborate much on the defenseman’s diagnosis or timeline, but he did speak about who potentially could fill the void.
“Clifton left late,” Cassidy added. “We have Steven Kampfer, who we can obviously draw into the lineup if necessary. He’s done a good job for us.”
If both Clifton and Krug are forced to miss time, Cassidy says the team will then look to the Providence Bruins for some help.
“If we’re down two guys, then we have to look at Providence. There’s some options there. Probably too early for me to tell you definitively who it would be from Providence.
“If Steven Kampfer is healthy, he’d be a guy we’d put in. If we had to go further, (John) Moore, if he’s ready to go, obviously would be a guy we’d put in. But I’m not sure he’s ready. We’ve got two days to find out.”
DeBrusk looked rather dazed during his postgame availability after taking a cross-check to the face from Maple Leafs’ forward Nazem Kadri in the third period. The 22-year-old forward said he’s awaiting an official diagnosis from the Bruins medical staff.
“Did a series of tests,” DeBrusk said. “Just hoping they come back negative at this point.”
As for the hit itself, DeBrusk doesn’t remember it too clearly.
“It’s all kind of a blur to be honest. From what I remember it was high. I felt it in my face. That’s all I have to say about that.”
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Bruins-Maple Leafs Game 2:
— David Pastrnak’s first-period assist was the right winger’s 26th point in his last 15 games vs. Toronto.
— Saturday’s Game 2 was extremely physical, with Toronto and Boston combining for 83 total hits. Bruce Cassidy wasn’t surprised about the way his team performed in the rough environment.
“We’re not a team that runs from a physical game,” Cassidy said. “I think it brings out the best in us at times.”
— Weymouth, Mass., native Charlie Coyle scored his first postseason goal with the Bruins, which was a pretty cool moment for the 26-year-old, no matter how much he tried to downplay it.
“You always want to help your team,” Coyle said. “And yeah, selfishly, it feels good. It’s nice to finally give my family and friends something to cheer about. But above all it’s nice to help contribute to the team and do whatever I can to help the team win.”
— Chris Wagner seemed to enjoy the physical play, specifically because of the energy it can provide.
“You see Pasta (David Pastrnak) lay a few bodies and that kind of gets you jacked up,” Wagner said with a smile. “I think it energizes the bench more than anything. We didn’t want to chase hits by any means, but it kind of builds momentum and gets the crowd into it, which you have to play into when you’re playing at home.”
— The Bruins look to take a 2-1 series lead when the series shifts to Toronto on Monday. Puck drop from Scotiabank Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images