BOSTON - The Bruins will remain shorthanded down the middle for Saturday's Stanley Cup Final rematch against the St. Louis Blues. Centerman David Krejci will miss his fourth straight game because of an upper-body injury and has also been ruled out for Sunday's contest against the New York Rangers.
Krejci did take part in morning skate on Saturday donning a white practice jersey and is eyeing Tuesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks for a return.
"Tuesday is looking good for him," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said following Saturday's pregame skate at Warrior Ice Arena. "We'll get a better idea Monday, but right now that's the track he's on."
Boston's No. 2 pivot has played only five games this season, notching one assist. After suffering a lower-body injury just two shifts into his only preseason contests, Krejci also missed the season opener in Dallas.
"He's been in the game a long time. I think that's the biggest thing. He plays a certain style of play that doesn't change a whole lot. He's a puck possession guy, he plays a crafty game. I think that's the advantage he has," Cassidy said when asked if Krejci's experience will allow him an easier re-entry into the lineup.
"I still think he's going to be a little behind. How much is to be determined. He's going to have to catch up a little bit. That's just the way it is when you miss almost a month now. He's played games, but he's been in and out, hasn't strung anything together even from training camp.
"Hopefully it's not a long process, the team's playing well, so hopefully they can pull him along until he gets there."
With Krejci sidelined, Charlie Coyle remains as the second-line center, flanked by Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie. Par Lindholm will center Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen.
Video: Cassidy addresses media following Friday's practice
The Blues are off to a solid start, posting a 5-2-3 record through 10 games. Their roster has not changed much since Game 7, outside of a preseason trade that sent defenseman Joel Edmundson to Carolina in exchange for fellow blue liner Justin Faulk. The Blues also lost forward Pat Maroon to the Lightning in free agency.
"When you play a team for seven games in the playoffs, you pick up on their tendencies. I think it's the same thing on their side," said Patrice Bergeron. "That being said, I think you adjust to a few things they do…that's definitely part of it."
St. Louis will be without its leading goal scorer from a year ago, Vladimir Tarasenko (3-7-10 in 10 games), who is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Brayden Schenn paces the Blues through 10 games with 8 goals and 11 points.
Jordan Binnington is expected to start in goal for the Blues. He is 4-1-3 with a 2.58 goals against average and .916 save percentage in eight games.
"Obviously you're playing a team that you played in the Finals and it didn't go your way," said Bergeron. "It's in the past and it has to be. For us, we have new challenges and we're ready to face them as a team together. That's where I'm at. Looking forward to a big matchup tonight."
Video: Bruins set for visiting Blues
Wait, There's More
- Patrice Bergeron enters the contest two assists shy of 500 for his career. He currently ranks sixth on the Bruins all-time list, 18 behind Wayne Cashman (516).
- Brad Marchand is riding an eight-game point streak (5-9-14) and a career-best seven-game assist streak. David Pastrnak, meanwhile, has a seven-game point streak (10-7-17) and a four-game goal streak, which ties his career high.
- Pastrnak is four shy of the Bruins' record for goals in October. The mark was set by Phil Esposito when he tallied 14 in 1973-74. Pastrnak had 11 goals last October, which ranks as the third-most in B's history.
- Boston's power play is clicking at 44.4% (8 for 18) over the last five games. It ranks first in the NHL at 35.7%.
- Bruins blue liners Kevan Miller (knee) and John Moore (shoulder) continue to progress in their rehabs. "They're on schedule," said Cassidy, while adding that Miller could join the team next week.
Saturday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie
Anders Bjork - Par Lindholm - Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Scratches: David Backes, Steven Kampfer, David Krejci (upper body).