BOSTON - Torey Krug is likely to return to the lineup for his 2018-19 regular-season debut on Tuesday as the team hits the road to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
The defenseman missed the first month of the season after injuring his left ankle in the preseason finale against the Philadelphia Flyers in late September. He began practicing with the team at the end of last week and was questionable ahead of Saturday's game against Montreal but did not end up dressing.
"Torey Krug practiced in full," said coach Bruce Cassidy. "When I left the ice he was fine, so I would expect him to go in [on Tuesday]."
If Krug returns, Steven Kampfer or Jeremy Lauzon would be out of the lineup.
"I've been working for quite some time now to get back in the lineup. Hopefully if Butch makes the decision to put me in then I'll be ready," said Krug. "I've played one game since May. It's been a long time. I'm interested to get back into a routine and try to remember what I've done for games.
"I'm excited to be part of the group again. That's the biggest part. You come to the rink - when the guys are on a road trip, you're watching them compete and play and all you want to do is help them out.
"Everyone's working towards a common goal and you want to be a part of it. It will be nice if I do get back in to be a part of that."
Video: Krug a possible return against Carolina
Matt Grzelcyk did not skate with the team on Monday morning. Cassidy said the blue liner sustained a lower-body injury in the game against Montreal but played through it. Jeremy Lauzon was once recalled from Providence on an emergency basis.
"[On Sunday], he did not feel great," said Cassidy, "Today couldn't practice, so he's doubtful for tomorrow. We'll have to see how he is…if Grizz recovers well enough to play tomorrow then we'd look at putting him in for, I guess you'd say, [Jeremy] Lauzon or [Steven] Kampfer.
"We'd have to decide what's the best fit for our lineup. Obviously Kampfer being a right shot probably keeps him in."
Charlie McAvoy skated on Friday before practice, but did not hit the ice on Monday.
"Obviously not skating and he's not going to play tomorrow," said Cassidy. "We know that, so I guess we keep pushing him down the road a bit for now. He skated the other day, so I'm not sure if this is planned or a setback, but if he doesn't skate tomorrow then clearly he's had a setback because usually they'll only keep you out for a day or two."
Finally, David Backes was back skating full-contact with the team, but will not play in Tuesday's game in North Carolina, making Saturday's game in Nashville the next target return date.
"I think with David we want to make sure," said Cassidy. "We don't want to send him back in there until he's 100 percent ready, so that'll be a mutual decision between the medical staff and player."
With Saturday as a goal, Backes will have some added practice time with the team before the Bruins face off against the Predators.
In addition to Lauzon, center Colby Cave was also recalled from Providence on an emergency basis. Cave leads Providence in scoring this season with five goals and five assists for 10 points with a plus-3 rating.
Video: Cassidy gives updats on injured players
The Hurricanes sit at 6-4-1 on the season and are second in the Metropolitan Division behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team is coming off a 2-1 loss against the New York Islanders on Sunday.
Forward Sebastian Aho has 11 assists in 10 games and is tied for fifth in the NHL in points (4 goals, 11 assists). The Hurricanes lead the NHL in shots per game with 41.7 and are the only team in the league to outshoot their opponent in every game played so far this season.
The last time the Bruins traveled down to PNC Arena, the B's were down 4-1 in the third period, before David Pastrnak scored three of Boston's five goals (his first career hat trick) in the final 10 minutes of the game to rally for a 6-4 victory.
"They've been playing well, they're a fast team, they transition very fast," said Jake DeBrusk. "They've also got some new bodies in there as well. It's a little bit of a different team. In saying that, I remember playing there last year. We had a tough start to the game and we had a really good comeback. Now this time coming in it's a matter of getting that first goal and kind of building our game from there, get the confidence and the mojo back."
Jaroslav Halak will get the start in net for the Bruins. Halak's coming off a shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, his second of the season.