BOSTON - The Bruins will be without David Krejci as they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to TD Garden on Thursday night. Krejci suffered an upper-body injury in Boston's win over Anaheim on Monday and is considered day-to-day.
"Didn't respond to treatment as well as we'd like," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "See how he is [on Friday], then make a determination for Saturday. First if he skates, then travels. If he doesn't travel, I doubt he'd play, but let's get through practice tomorrow."
Krejci, who missed the season opener with a lower-body injury, practiced for the first half of Wednesday's session, but was not ready to suit up against the Lightning. With Krejci sidelined, Par Lindholm will slide into the lineup and center Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman.
Charlie Coyle will move up and fill in for Krejci on the second line with Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie as his wings, though Cassidy expects his lines to be fluid.
Clifton Back In
In other lineup news, Connor Clifton will slide back into for Steven Kampfer after sitting out Monday's win as a healthy scratch. Cassidy said that he felt Clifton needed a bit of a reminder that nothing is guaranteed in the National Hockey League.
"I felt Cliff's had good moments and average moments, kind of like Steve," said Cassidy. "I said, 'You need to continue to grow.' And I think his practice habits weren't good enough either, to be honest with you. He was behind. A little bit of it is, 'Are you taking this for granted? If you are, you shouldn't be.'
"And some of it was rewarding Steve for practicing well and playing well when he's gone into games. We wanted to keep him sharp. It was both sides of it. That was the message to him. I'm sure Cliffy will play hard tonight."
Clifton admits that there is room for improvement in his game, which he hopes to build on Thursday night.
"It was good to watch a game. Simple as that, excited to go tonight…the game is really easy from up top. Everyone is going 100 miles an hour on the ice, it's a little harder," said Clifton. "I think I've been OK. No, I haven't been my best. It's OK, we win games. Obviously, we have a really good team. Kamps got in there, he's been really good in practice all the time. I'm back in tonight, so I'm worrying about that."
Video: Clifton addresses media ahead of the B's Tilt vs. TBL
Both Kevan Miller (knee) and John Moore (shoulder) took the ice under the watch of skating and skills coach Kim Brandvold before practice on Thursday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.
The Lightning, coming off a 3-1 win in Montreal on Tuesday, enter tonight's game at 3-2-1 and are wrapping up a six-game road trip. Tampa Bay has stacked its top line with Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point, presenting quite the challenge for the Black & Gold.
"He complements [them] because he's just good, he can play with anybody," said Cassidy. "Doesn't look like he's deferring…it will be interesting if he sticks with that if we play our line against it. Now you've got another one of those great matchups with a lot of high-end players on the ice at the same time and only one puck out there."
Stamkos (4-4-8) and Kucherov (3-5-8) are pacing the Lightning in scoring to this point, with blue liners Mikhail Sergachev (0-6-6) and Victor Hedman (0-5-5) following closely behind. Newcomer Kevin Shattenkirk has also provided a boost on the back end with three goals and an assist through four games.
"We know they are a very good team," said Zdeno Chara. "We obviously play them a number of times, playoffs included. They're a very dangerous team, play with a lot of speed, skill, we've got to be ready for that."
Video: Chara speaks to media before game vs. Lightning
Thursday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie
Danton Heinen - Par Lindholm - Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Scratches: David Backes, David Krejci (upper body), Steven Kampfer
Video: Krejci Out & Lindholm in for Thursday vs. Tampa Bay