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Krejci game-time decision for Bruins in Game 2 against Blue Jackets

Center takes part in morning skate after sustaining undisclosed injury during series opener

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- David Krejci is a game-time decision for the Boston Bruins against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS) because of an undisclosed injury.

The center was injured late in the third period of the Bruins' 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 on Thursday. He left with 2:10 remaining and did not return, but participated in Boston's morning skate Saturday.

"(Krejci) will be a game-time decision," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "So far he got through morning skate, that's a positive. Felt good when he came in this morning, positive. So we'll keep our fingers crossed."


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Krejci has five points (two goals, three assists) in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games; he had 73 points (20 goals, 53 assists) in 81 games during the regular season.

If Krejci can't play, the Bruins could move center Charlie Coyle, who scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in Game 1, up to the second line. Coyle, acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild for center Ryan Donato and a conditional draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Feb. 20, has six points (five goals, one assist) in eight playoff games.

Video: CBJ@BOS, Gm1: Coyle ties game in 3rd, wins it in OT

"Well, the Charlie Coyle acquisition was precisely to A, solidify third-line center, and then in case of emergency a guy that could move up," Cassidy said. "We had that conversation internally for a long time. Do we have a guy early in the year that could move up? We've plugged guys in there that played well at times, but could they move up in the event of a [center Patrice] Bergeron, Krejci injury."

If Coyle has to move up in the lineup, center Sean Kuraly could similarly move up. Boston would then have to fill Krejci's lineup spot with rookie forward Karson Kuhlman, veteran forward David Backes or a call-up from Providence of the American Hockey League.

Kuhlman has one assist in five playoff games; Backes has one assist in four games this postseason.

"To win in the playoffs, you need every line, every D pairing and both goalies to pull their weight. And everyone's done that so far," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "It's the reason we got through the first round and won last night. … So it's great to see that contribution from everybody."

With or without Krejci, Boston heads into Game 2 with a lead in a series for the first time this postseason; it defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round despite losing Games 1, 3 and 5.

"Yeah, well, obviously it's a little better breathing in the room," forward David Pastrnak said. "But at the same time it's step one and [the series is] still a free shot. So we're going to look at the positive stuff from Game 1, but we can sleep on the win and we have a new game tomorrow."

Looking forward rather than back was a central theme for the Bruins on Friday.

"Again, regardless of what happens in previous games, there's no indication it's going to happen next game. So you've got to let it go and prepare for the next one," Marchand said.

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