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Stanley Cup Final

Krejci misses practice again for Bruins ahead of Game 1 of Cup Final

Dealing with illness, but Boston believes he'll be ready to play Blues

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- David Krejci missed his second straight practice with the Boston Bruins on Saturday, two days before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

The center was sent home prior to Boston's intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday because of a fever. The Bruins had a day off Friday. 

However, coach Bruce Cassidy expects Krejci to be fine and isn't worried about his availability for Game 1.

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Blues series coverage]

 

"Illness again, precautionary," Cassidy said after practice. "I suspect we'll see him tomorrow, that is the plan. If he's not out tomorrow, now … there's a little bit of worry there. But right now, I believe he'll be practicing tomorrow."

Krejci is third on the Bruins with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 17 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

With Krejci out, the Bruins moved David Backes, usually a right wing, to center and Karson Kuhlman, a healthy scratch since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 30, skated on the right wing with left wing Jake DeBrusk.

Video: Scoring depth key to Blues, Bruins reaching Cup Final

Cassidy said Krejci's absence isn't significantly affecting the Bruins' preparation, but there are concerns that he might not be in game shape for the series opener. The Bruins haven't played since May 16, when they completed a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the conference final.

"Obviously, we'd like to have him out there," Cassidy said. "We're going through some things, special teams with his [power-play] group, certain tendencies with St. Louis that we're trying to practice against or trying to defend against or trying to exploit on the opposite side of things. He'll miss that. But at the end of the day, he's been around a long time, a very cerebral player, so that part of it I'm not concerned about. He can pick things up in a hurry.

"It's more about when you miss two, three days, do you have your legs, do you have your stamina? You know we're not banging out there, but we have [hit] a little more the last few [practices], starting to get back into the physicality part of it or at least a feel for that. So that'll be more a concern more than strategy. I believe just missing this bit of time, you lose a bit of that getting back to the grind. So he'll have to catch up with it."

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