BOSTON – Although they survived by playing just five defensemen in the third period of their shootout win at Chicago Saturday night, the Bruins will welcome back Adam McQuaid with open arms if he can return to their lineup tonight against Carolina at TD Garden.
McQuaid suffered a neck injury in Carolina last Wednesday and missed the contest with the Blackhawks. The Bruins did not use his fill-in, Matt Bartkowski, over the final 25 minutes against the Blackhawks.
McQuaid practiced Monday and participated in the morning skate today. He did not speak to the media after the skate. McQuaid might still need some official medical clearance before he gets to face the Hurricanes.
"All I would say to that – and I’m not trying to be smart here – is it's a game-time decision for that reason," said coach Claude Julien. "So there’s more than, I guess, I can tell you that needs to be done here before we make that decision for tonight."
Elsewhere on the Bruins’ blue line, Steven Kampfer, who suffered a knee injury in the preseason, skated again today but has not been cleared for contact yet, according to Julien.
If McQuaid doesn't play, Bartkowski would be in the lineup again. He logged just 5:32 of ice time, none after the second intermission. Nonetheless, Julien said he’s seeing improvement in the second-year pro.