BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins went into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday minus two of their expected top six defensemen.
Matt Bartkowski, who didn't practice all week, and Kevan Miller, who only made an appearance at one practice, were scratched for the series opener. It's unknown whether each is injured or a victim of the flu bug that Bruins coach Claude Julien said hit the team. Miller missed two games in early April but played the final three games of the regular season.
That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.
— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4