-- Boston Bruins
center David Krejci
will miss the rest of the season after suffering a dislocated right wrist Wednesday during Game 3 of the Bruins' Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers
Surgery was performed following the game at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said Krejci should be fully healthy for training camp in September.
The Bruins won Game 3, 4-1, to take a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Friday at the Wachovia Center (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).
Krejci was injured less than five minutes into the game when he was leveled at the Bruins' blue line by Flyers center Mike Richards
. Krejci had received an outlet pass from Zdeno Chara
and passed to Milan Lucic
when Richards arrived with a clean, open-ice hit. Lucic passed to Miroslav Satan
, who scored to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Krejci received an assist on the game-winning goal.
Krejci is the second Bruins forward to suffer a season-ending injury in this series. Left wing Marco Sturm
tore two knee ligaments while trying to throw a check on Flyers defenseman Matt Carle
in the first shift of Game 1.
Krejci had 4 goals and 4 assists in nine playoff games while centering Satan and Lucic. He also played on the first power-play unit and is a top penalty killer.
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid
also was injured in the first period Wednesday, suffering a lower-body injury that ended his night.
Bruins coach Claude Julien
said McQuaid "is very doubtful for tomorrow" although he may return later in the playoffs.
Julien said he will wait until Friday to make a decision on which two players will replace Krejci and McQuaid. Speculation immediately centered on defenseman Mark Stuart
, who has missed the last 14 games with an infected finger. Stuart has been working out with the team for a week and appears ready to go. Julien said Stuart has medical clearance to practice only. He said he will "make a decision" whether to play Stuart if full medical clearance to return to games comes later Thursday or Friday.
"We are not going to accelerate (Stuart)," Julien said. "He will play when he's ready."
It appears Julien will choose between veteran center Trent Whitfield
, an excellent penalty killer and faceoff man, or feisty winger Brad Marchand
to replace Krejci.
He said the Bruins were fortunate to have five centers in the lineup Wednesday -- Krejci, Patrice Bergeron
, Marc Savard
, Vladimir Sobotka
and Steve Begin
. Julien could use his four centers and add Marchand at wing, or play Whitfield and use Savard, Sobotka or Begin at wing. All three have played wing in the playoffs.
"It's tough," Savard said of Krejci's injury. "He's a great player and he's really played well for us in the playoffs. He's been a huge part of the success we've had. It's the same thing as when Marco went down; we just have to keep finding ways to win."
Defenseman Dennis Wideman
said the Bruins have great depth and that both Marchand and Whitfield are quality NHL performers.
Whitfield, 32, has 11 goals and 29 points in 193 NHL games with the Washington Capitals
, New York Rangers
, St. Louis Blues
and the Bruins over eight seasons. He had 1 assist in 16 games this season.
Marchand, 21, the Bruins' third-round pick in 1996, had 1 assist in 20 games for the Bruins this season. He has 31 goals and 91 points in 124 games the last two seasons with the AHL Providence Bruins.
"Whitfield has been around a while," Wideman said. "He's been up and down (this year). He's played his fair share of NHL games and whenever he's come in, he's been a solid two-way guy -- really, really responsible defensively and always in the right position. We have a lot of confidence in him.
"Marchand is a little guy that flies around. He's got a pretty good shot. He's an agitator who gets under guys' skin. Whichever guy we put in should work out for us."
"Stuart is a big body, big man, and he's got a lot of strength there," Wideman added. "He's tiring, really tough to play against. Not only is he really strong, but he plays hard. That can wear on forwards after a while. He hits hard, he battles hard. If you go into the corner with him, usually you wind up on your back and he winds up with the puck."
Contact John McGourty at firstname.lastname@example.org