BOSTON - Two days after leaving Game 1 late in the third period with an injury, David Krejci was on the ice for pregame skate on Saturday morning and is considered a game-time decision for Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"So far, he got through morning skate, that's a positive," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Felt good when he came in, positive. So, we'll keep our fingers crossed."
Krejci addressed the media after the skate and was tight-lipped when discussing his status, saying only that he felt "good," while answering "yeah" when asked if he felt good enough to play.
"If that's what he said then that's the truth," said Krejci, when told Cassidy termed him as a game-time decision.
Should Krejci be good to go, Cassidy said he would not be making any lineup changes.
"The rest of the lineup will stay the same," said Cassidy. "Obviously, if Krech is not able to go, [Karson] Kuhlman or [David] Backes will go in, and then the lines will sort themselves out."
Video: Krejci talks status after missing end of Game 1
Making Their Marks
With no new faces in the lineup, that means that Connor Clifton will remain on Boston's third defense pairing alongside Matt Grzelcyk. Cassidy has been quite pleased with Clifton's defensive work in the Bruins' end.
"Through all of the games he's been here, I don't know that he's been scored on more than a couple of times," said Cassidy. "Clearly, he's taken care of his own end, and that's your first goal as a defenseman, play good defensively, play your one-on-ones. He's competitive. I like his physical side.
"He's willing to be assertive and keep pucks alive, closes on people. In that part, he's quick. I wouldn't call him like an open-end skater like a Johnny Moore, but he's certainly quick enough to close. He's stayed within the structure, works hard, so that's kind of the reasoning."
One tweak to the forward lines for morning skate was Danton Heinen playing with Krejci, and David Pastrnak moving back to the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Heinen's ability to be a jack-of-all-trades has made him a valuable piece of the Bruins roster.
"Sometimes they used to in Europe call a guy a joker that you can move all around the lineup," said Cassidy. "He's a guy that can fit in on the power play, he'll kill penalties, he plays right wing, left wing. We were prepared to play him at center one night this year when we had a late injury.
"He's a trustworthy guy that way. I think that's what endears himself to, A: the coaching staff [and] B: the teammates. In the long run, we would like to get him placed in a spot where he can consistently work on his game and grow his game from one spot, but that's the hand we've been dealt this year with the injuries. It's worked out well.
"We appreciate what he does…he's well-liked by his teammates and everybody that plays with him knows he's got the ability to make plays. He's a smart player, so everybody likes playing with him because of that."
Video: Cassidy talks Krejci and Game 2
The Bruins expect Columbus to come out with a vengeance on Saturday night after their performance in Game 1. The Blue Jackets appeared sluggish early on following their near 10-day layoff, but Boston knows there is sure to be an uptick in intensity.
"We know they're gonna come out and have a better start. That's a no-brainer," said Charlie Coyle. "I figure they'll come out like we did in that Game 2 [against Toronto] there after suffering a loss the first one. We're expecting their best, we're expecting our best to come out and get to it right away.
"They're gonna bring a much heavier game. I think their game will come a little quicker now that they have their legs under them and have a game under their belt back in it."
Video: Johansson discusses familiarity with CBJ
Saturday's Projected Lineup
(Should Krejci play)
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Marcus Johansson - Charlie Coyle - Chris Wagner
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - Connor Clifton
Scratches: David Backes, Steven Kampfer, Karson Kuhlman, and John Moore.
Video: Coyle moving past Game 1