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Adam McQuaid "Doubtful" for Monday Against Tampa; Matt Bartkowski Ready to Slide In

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WILMINGTON, MA - Adam McQuaid was absent from the Bruins' Sunday morning practice at Ristuccia Arena. He left Saturday night's game against Toronto early in the first period and did not return.

McQuaid went down after taking a turn behind the Bruins' goal, and was helped down the tunnel by team trainers. It occurred during his second shift of the night, with him logging just 44 seconds of ice time.

"He's still getting better, but still hurting today," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following Sunday's practice.

The specific nature of the injury is unknown, but it's likely a good sign that the defenseman wasn't immediately deemed out for a period of time.

Julien did say that McQuaid is "probably doubtful" to play on Monday, though, as the B's host the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.

"I mean, if McQuaid isn't ready, which he's probably doubtful, then Bartkowski will go in there," said the bench boss.

The Bruins had to play nearly all of Saturday night's game with five defensemen. They ended up defeating the Maple Leafs 3-1, thanks to power-play goals from Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, who sealed the win with an empty-netter.

"It’s happened. When Johnny went down [on October 31 against Anaheim], right away, you just say quick shifts, and you’ve got to expect that you’re going to play a lot," Dougie Hamilton said following the win.

"So you have to know that you’re going to be right back out there, and I thought we did a pretty good job."

Hamilton logged 24:43 in ice time. Only Zdeno Chara logged more, ending the night with 28:04 time on the ice.

"Well it’s something that is very unfortunate," said Chara. "But, at the same time, you have to pull the load and everybody has to chip in and get a little bit more ice time, and do your job."

Bartkowski Ready to Slide In

If McQuaid isn't ready, Bartkwoski will end up playing his fifth game this season. He last played on Long Island on November 2, when Johnny Boychuk was out with back issues.

When media gathered 'round Bartkowski's locker room stall at Ristuccia Arena on Sunday, his goading teammates made a ruckus. Shawn Thornton jokingly shouted, "Hey, great game last night!" and Reilly Smith jumped into the media scrum behind me and faked like he had a recorder.

The blueliner who's usually the one keeping the mood light around the room, was getting a "taste of his own medicine" per se. But the attention around him this season has largely been centered around getting his opportunity to receive playing time.

"No matter how you look at it, it's always tough for a guy who hasn't played much, and to come into the lineup. We realize that," said Julien. "You've seen him at his best and we've seen how good he can be, and maybe he doesn't give you that right off the bat but hopefully with more games under his belt, he'll get more comfortable and more confident."

"The last game I played, it just took a little bit to get back into it. As long as my feet are moving and I play physical, I'm pretty usually effective, so that's all I've got to tell myself," said Bartkowski, who has always kept that simple approach.

Like Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton, he brings an offensive, skating element style game to the B's defense group.

We always go back to the 2013 postseason series against the New York Rangers for a look at how effective the 'young' trio can be when they're all in the lineup together (I quote 'young' because Bartkowski is 25 years young, compared to 22-year-old Krug and 20-year-old Hamilton).

"It helps out the offense, it keeps their D on their heels, having a fourth man in the rush, do they pick you or they have decide who they want to cover? So it helps out all around," said Bartkowski.

"Push the pace, better breakouts, just getting the puck in the forwards hands. It helps a lot."

It's a different element to the B's back end, though, after many years without that offensive "breath of fresh air" as Julien has labeled it.

"The solid D corp that they've had here for years, it's worked, they won a Cup and everything," said Bartkowski. "So, for us to be able to add a little bit, can definitely help."

Practice Lines

White Jerseys: Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla

Gold: Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui Eriksson, Jordan Caron

Carl Soderberg-Chris Kelly-Reilly Smith

Merlot: Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

D: Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug-Dennis Seidenberg, Bartkowski-Boychuk

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Chad Johnson

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