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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Avalanche

Bergeron, Czarnik, Krug are all game-time decisions

by Michael Tolvo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - The Bruins have been hit hard by injuries to begin the season. However, they are hoping to get some reinforcements as they try to build off their exciting youth-fueled victory in the season opener.

When the B's face off against the Colorado Avalanche for a Columbus Day matinee on Monday, they could have up to three players returning from injury. Defenseman Torey Krug, winger Austin Czarnik, and center Patrice Bergeron are all considered game-time decisions.

Krug, who was cleared for contact on Saturday and has skated with a full-face shield in practice, appears to be the player most likely to return. The defenseman was injured in the preseason against the Detroit Red Wings, when a shot from the point fractured his jaw. The Bruins look forward to having the power-play dynamo back, as they try to open the season with two wins for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

"He's still listed as day-to-day, but I think he's ready to go," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said on Sunday. "That decision will be made [on Monday]. See how he is first of all in the morning at the rink, and then I assume he'll be good, and then post warm-up. It looks like he's up to speed."

Bergeron missed the season opener with a lower body injury. He skated in a limited capacity prior to practice on Saturday and did the same on Sunday, before returning for the beginning of practice in a non-contact jersey.

"He didn't finish practice," said Cassidy. "He started, took some line rushes, so he's progressing. How far he's progressed, we'll determine that in the morning. And again, he'll be a game-time decision."

Video: Bergeron speaks about injury following practice

Czarnik missed the end of the Bruins preseason and the season opener against Nashville with an illness. He was a full participant in practices on Saturday and Sunday, and could also return to the lineup against the Avalanche.

"He finished practice, felt good," said Cassidy. "But we'll see him in the morning as well."

Krejci's Hot Start

After a stellar debut for the Bruins' three rookies, with each recording their first career regular season point, the young trio of Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy will look to continue that success.

DeBrusk and Bjork owe part of that success to David Krejci, who centered the duo for much of the season opener following some early line tinkering from Cassidy. The veteran center notched three assists on the night, including one on each of DeBrusk and McAvoy's goals.

"JD, I played with the last three weeks of training camp, " said Krejci. "He's a really good player, really smart, fast, and Bjorkie…he got put on my line, we score a goal right away on the first shift. We seem to have a little chemistry there from the first game. We had good practices the last couple days, so hopefully we can build on the last game and be good again [on Monday]."

Video: Krejci recaps his strong season-opening performance

While the youngsters have experienced that early success, Cassidy expressed the need for them to find a comfort level playing an afternoon game for the first time at the NHL level.

"We have to guard against that because we've got some players who might be used to playing at night all the time," said Cassidy. "We have to make sure with our group that we are up and at them [Monday] on time…we've just got to play our game.

"Some of those young guys are just not used to it. We've got to get them going tomorrow early, because we've got a lot on the line."

Opposing View

The Colorado Avalanche (1-1-0) are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, during which they conceded three power play goals, including one by former Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes.

Special teams have proven to be the difference for the Avalanche through two games, as they have yet to concede an even-strength goal.

All-Star Forward Matt Duchene, the subject of a bevy of trade rumors during the offseason, was Colorado's second leading scorer last season (18-23-41), behind only fellow center Nathan MacKinnon (16-37-53).

The 26-year-old Duchene played a pivotal role in Colorado's season-opening victory against the New York Rangers, notching a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win. Goalie Semyon Varlamov outdueled Henrik Lundqvist, with 37 saves en route to the victory.

Breaking the Streak

The Bruins are 0-9-1-1 in their last 11 home games against Colorado, the longest current winless streak versus any opponent. The team's last win against the Avalanche in Boston was March 30, 1998.

Sunday's Practice Lineup

Brad Marchand - Ryan Spooner/Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Anders Bjork
Tim Schaller - Riley Nash - Sean Kuraly
Matt Beleskey - Austin Czarnik - Frank Vatrano

Zdeno Chara - Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller - Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk - Paul Postma

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

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