BOSTON, MA - The Bruins earned a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in their final home game of the regular season at TD Garden on Saturday. The two points also earned them the Presidents' Trophy for the best record in the NHL this season, no matter the outcome of game No. 82 on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.
As Boston hit the road for New Jersey, though, they could be without Daniel Paille.
At the 7:17 mark of the third period, Paille was leveled at the blueline, and fell hard to the ice. He was assisted off the ice and down the tunnel.
"With Piesy, I haven’t had a chance to talk yet to my trainers or to the doctors, so I’ll probably see later on here," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said postgame.
The Bruins also finished the game without Patrice Bergeron, who did not return for the third period. "It's very minor," Julien said of Bergeron's status.
There will likely be more clarity on Paille's status come Sunday.
"It’s just sad," said David Krejci, upon seeing Paille in that situation. "This time of the year, in the third period, it’s just sad. We need a guy like that. He’s been a big part of the team. He brings so much speed on the fourth line and lots of energy."
"He’s good on the PK as well, so it’s just a sad day, not just for him but for us as his teammates, so we’re going to miss him. Hopefully he’ll come back soon."
"I mean, I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good, he dropped like that and you hope the guy is okay," said Sabres blueliner Jake McCabe, who threw the hit on Paille. "I think he’s got a concussion history in the past, a couple of guys are telling me, so the best wishes for that, but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all; I was just trying to play hard."
Not too longer after Paille left the game, with 11:35 remaining in the third period, Torey Krug got knocked off his skates and collided with Sabres netminder Matt Hackett. In visible pain, the goaltender was tended to on the ice for some time, before being wheeled off on a stretcher with help from Scott Waugh on the Bruins' training staff. Well wishes came in the form of stick taps and loud cheers of support from the crowd.
"I just felt like my feet got kicked out from under me and I landed on his leg. For a second I thought he was okay and then he started screaming. So, I feel bad. It’s just a tough play," Krug said postgame. "You never want to see stuff like that happen, no matter how it happened."
In a game that saw both sides lose players, the Bruins tried to keep their focus in the third, and eventually added an insurance goal to make it 4-1.
"It’s tough. You’ve got to feel for the guys - like Piesy there - obviously we want everyone for playoffs and hopefully he’s okay," said Krug, on refocusing in the final frame. "You have to stay sharp mentally, because if you’re not, you’re going to get hurt yourself. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re in it mentally, sharp, and physically you’re taking care of things."
"You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to play hard," said Tuukka Rask. "Sometimes it’s just bad luck and it happens but it’s a good thing we have depth and we have to battle through those things."
As the Bruins head to New Jersey for the final game of the regular season, they'll be utilizing that depth for a number of reasons.
"After I’m done with you guys I’ve got to sit down with my general manager and look at the situation," Julien told reporters at TD Garden following the game. "Obviously, our health issues, and also maybe giving some guys some rest."
"I can tell you right now, we’re going to try to bring some guys up [from Providence]. I don’t know yet who because of what’s happened today. I don’t know who is going to be left behind or who will not play tomorrow, but we’ll have a different lineup."
The game against the Devils is set for 3:00 p.m. ET (NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub). Follow updates on BostonBruins.com, the Bruins Mobile App and on Twitter @NHLBruins for the latest news.