BOSTON - The Bruins hit the ice for a pregame skate at TD Garden on Saturday morning, before hosting the Washington Capitals at 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
David Krejci skated with the group for the first time since leaving the Bruins' preseason finale on October 4 with an undisclosed injury. Krejci is on Injured Reserve and is not eligible to return to game action until after Saturday's matchup with the Caps.
"Day to day. I can't tell you more than that," Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following the morning skate. "Just skated for the first time today with the team, so we'll see how that goes."
Krejci did take a few line rushes with Milan Lucic, which had to feel comforting for the left winger as he works through a frustrating first two games of the season.
"It is tough a little bit, because you're used to playing with a certain guy and a certain style, but that's also not an excused," said Lucic. "When you're in the NHL, you're with great players, no matter who you play with, so you've got to find a way to find your game, and adapt to whoever it is that you're playing with."
"So I think as an individual, me critiquing myself, I don't think it's acceptable the way that I've played the first two games. So I'm aware of that, so I'm aware of what I need to do to get myself back into what I do best, so you need to start that here tonight."
Lucic is expected to play on a line again with Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser, as he has for the first two games to start the season, with Krejci sidelined.
The lineup is expected to remain the same as Thursday night in Detroit (see below for the full projected lineup).
Along with Krejci, Gregory Campbell joined the group for pregame skate on Saturday morning. Campbell missed the entire preseason with a mid-core injury and is still on Non-Roster Injured Reserve. He's progressing well.
"He just started skating," said Julien. "I haven't been told - he hasn't been cleared for contact, and I think again, a guy that's been out for that long, who's just starting to skate - I don't know that we have a timetable for him right now."
Craig Cunningham has been slotting into Campbell's spot at center in the meantime.
Jordan Caron and Simon Gagne were the extra forwards on the ice for pregame skate. Caron will likely be a healthy scratch on Saturday night.
Gagne remains on a professional tryout agreement with the club. He can't suit up in game action, unless he gets signed by the team. Jay Pandolfo was in a similar situation at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, spending a month with Boston before he was signed to a one-year deal.
Though Julien only has practices and pregame skates to judge Gagne on, he's seeing improvement.
"We don't have choice, but to see that in practice. We can see he's feeling more and more comfortable," said Julien. "He made a couple of little plays there in tight, and his hands are going to come back, so only time will tell with him."
"It's more than just us looking at him - there's a lot more involved in that whole process, so we'll see how that all turns out."
Rebounding From Detroit
Heading into Saturday night's matchup, the Bruins' emphasis won't be on the Caps (though shutting down their lethal power play will be key), especially coming off a 2-1 loss in Detroit on Thursday night.
"You know what, I've got to be honest here… with the way that we played last game, I'll answer questions about my team, because that's where my whole focus was," Julien said pregame, when asked about Washington. "The pre-scout is done and we played them in the preseason, so we've got a pretty good idea of what they can bring."
"But right now, if I don't look at my own club, I don't think I'm doing the right thing."
Boston has only allowed three goals through the first two games of the season, but they're looking to pick it up offensively and have much better puck movement and puck support in all three zones.
"The Bruins are successful because we hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves accountable and that's why we're a winning franchise," said Matt Fraser. "You want to be that team that everyone doesn't like to play against and if it's not you, then the next guy will hold you accountable so it's a lot easier on yourself to make sure that you're ready to go and make sure you're not doing flybys."
"Certainly Detroit was unacceptable - I feel like I've used that word a hundred times. It certainly wasn't up to par to how we feel that we can play."
Projected Lineup vs. Caps 10/11
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Milan Lucic - Ryan Spooner - Matt Fraser
Daniel Paille - Craig Cunningham - Bobby Robins
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg - Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug - Kevan Miller
Starting Goalie: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Niklas Svedberg
Healthy scratches: Matt Bartkowski, Jordan Caron
Injured: David Krejci (undisclosed, day-to-day), Gregory Campbell (core, no timetable)