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Krug Out with Upper-Body Injury

Defenseman termed day-to-day, will not play in Winnipeg

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - The Bruins' never-ending injury bug reared its ugly head once again on Wednesday, with the news that Torey Krug would be sidelined with an upper-body ailment.

According to coach Bruce Cassidy, the blue liner took a hit during Tuesday's loss to Columbus and was "not feeling great." Krug did not practice and will not play in Thursday's game against Winnipeg.

It was the first of a number of roster transactions and injury updates that Boston's bench boss provided following Wednesday's practice at Bell MTS Place, which focused heavily on shoring things up in the defensive zone after Tuesday night's 7-4 thumping at the hands of the Blue Jackets.

Here are the other updates from Cassidy:

Paul Carey

The Boston College product was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis, giving the Bruins two Weymouth natives (Charlie Coyle is the other) on the roster. Carey was acquired from Ottawa in January in exchange for Providence defenseman Cody Goloubef.

A skilled winger, Carey has notched 20 points (14 goals, 6 assists) in 21 games for the P-Bruins. He has played 97 career games in the NHL with Colorado, Washington, the New York Rangers, and Ottawa.

"He's certainly scored. He's played games in the league," said Cassidy, who also coached Carey for 17 games in Providence in 2014-15. "We'll find out what he's most comfortable with, right, left wing. I'm sure he'll get a look with [David] Krejci. If not, it's [Trent] Frederic. And maybe he's played with Frederic down there and they have some chemistry. Those are some things we'll talk about when he gets here."

Peter Cehlarik

With Carey recalled, Cehlarik was assigned to Providence. The 23-year-old, who played a season-low 8:15 against Columbus, posted 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in 20 games with Boston this season.

"Ideally, if Peter could stay here and work through it with practice, etcetera…but we play tomorrow, Friday we get in late so doesn't look like we'll practice, Sunday's off, so the time for him to get better is in Providence," Cassidy explained. "It's not ideal being way out in Winnipeg, but that's what we're gonna do."

Connor Clifton

The 23-year-old defenseman was also recalled from Providence on an emergency basis, giving the Bruins another right shot on the back end with Kevan Miller still out. Clifton suited up for nine games with Boston earlier this season and was playing a strong all-around game with the P-Bruins, notching 27 points (6 goals, 21 assists in 53 contests.

Video: Cassidy talks roster moves, injuries

Jake DeBrusk

The winger has missed the last four games with a lower-body injury, but skated on Wednesday and is "progressing well." Cassidy indicated that DeBrusk is the closest among the Bruins' injured group to a return.

"We've always said that once he's on the ice, he's a step closer," said Cassidy. "He could be a possibility [for Saturday's game at TD Garden]. I don't think any of the other guys would be that are back home."

Matt Grzelcyk

After leaving Sunday's game in Pittsburgh with an arm/elbow injury, Grzelcyk's X-rays were negative, but he was sent back to Boston for further testing. The blue liner got more "good news" after an MRI did not reveal any substantial damage, according to Cassidy, who added that Grzelcyk could be back at some point during the next road trip.

Marcus Johansson

Cassidy said the trade deadline acquisition (lung contusion) is unlikely to return before next week's road trip.

Kevan Miller

The blue liner has missed eight games with a lingering upper-body injury and was given a three-to-five week timeline for a return. Miller last played on Feb. 23 putting him in the middle of that time frame.

David Pastrnak

Cassidy was not asked about the winger's status on Wednesday, but Pastrnak had resumed skating over the past couple of weeks and was "progressing well" when Cassidy last provided an update during the team's most recent homestand.

Video: The Bruins Get Set for Practice in Winnipeg in Slo-Mo

Back-es on Top

With three of Boston's four top-six wingers out of the lineup, Cassidy has been searching for the right combinations. Some of his mid-game tweaks from Tuesday night carried over into Wednesday's practice with Danton Heinen sliding down to play alongside David Krejci and David Backes getting the bump up to ride with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

"Those guys are obviously as good as they get," said Backes, who picked up an assist on Tuesday night. "Just to stay out of the way and let them do their thing. I think that's a pretty good mantra to have. Being able to get in on the forecheck, get some pucks back into their hands, stay open, keep your stick on the ice and be ready to shoot it because at any time they can find a little seam, a little hole, and find you.

"Hopefully I can complement them well and contribute to a team win and then get two points that are very needed at the end of this road trip."

Cassidy is hoping that Backes gets a bit of a boost in the short term while the Bruins await the returns of their injured wingers.

"He's done what he's been asked to do for this team for the last I don't know how many games," said Cassidy. "I don't know if he's a long-term answer there, but we don't need a long-term answer because we've got guys coming back soon. But we need a short-term answer and maybe that gives him some life. I think everybody gets excited to play with those two guys. If it gives him a little more jump in his step, great."

Video: Backes readies for chance to play on top line

Wagner Feeling Good

Chris Wagner's career-season continued on Tuesday night when the winger potted his 12th goal of the year. The Walpole native said this is the best he's felt offensively during his five-year NHL career.

"Probably since I played with him," Wagner said, while pointing to Charlie Coyle, referencing his time with the South Shore Kings. "That one was kind of lucky last night, but still going to the net, good things happen. Being comfortable, being allowed to try to make plays too.

"I'm playing a lot too. I probably haven't played over 15 minutes - 13 to 15 - for months at a time since I've been in this league. I guess getting that playing time and earning the coach's trust, that helps."

Video: Wagner discusses his career season

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