|Banged-up Bruins limp into game against Sabres|
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy covered his ever-changing attendance report at practice Friday.
"Adam (McQuaid) is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him," Cassidy said. "With Bergie (Patrice Bergeron), it's a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with (David) Krejci. (Kevan) Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well.
"We'll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the (maintenance players) to play."
That's the way it is for the battered Bruins, who host the Buffalo Sabres in the second game of a four-game homestand Saturday night.
Soon after practice, word came down McQuaid suffered a broken right fibula blocking two shots on the same third-period shift Thursday and will have surgery Monday. He's gone for eight weeks.
"Adam has been doing that (blocking shots) for years around here," Cassidy said. "He's one of the unsung heroes in that locker room. Doesn't get a lot of credit for what he does, the tough parts of the game, blocking shots, sticking up for your teammates.
"He actually manages the puck very well. He's not a flashy player. He's not a guy that just throws it away either. He makes good decisions with it, and every team needs Adam McQuaids, and we're certainly fortunate to have him."
It was the third significant injury for the team in a matter of five days. First Ryan Spooner was lost for 4-6 weeks with a groin injury suffered last Sunday. Then Tuukka Rask was injured in a practice collision with rookie Anders Bjork on Wednesday and was forced into concussion protocol, meaning he's out indefinitely.
Then it was McQuaid who went down in a win that raised the record to 3-3-0 with the floundering Sabres (1-5-2) coming to town. Krejci missed the third period of that game with what was being called an upper body spasm suffered from a cross check.
Now, in a bit of balance, the Bruins did get Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and David Backes (diverticulitis) back for their season debuts Thursday -- and Bergeron delivered a goal and three assists and the Bruins went 4 of 8 on the power play.
On Friday, he rested -- after he and linemates Brad Marchand and Bjork combined for 10 points on Thursday.
Asked after Thursday's game if he was completely over his injury, Bergeron said, "That's the million dollar question, right? I don't know what to say to that. I guess yeah, I mean I'm feeling good, but there's ... we might manage a little bit for quite a while, but I'm feeling good and tonight was no issue."
The Sabres, playing under new coach Phil Housley, aren't feeling good about much of anything these days -- and lost, at home, to the same Vancouver team that played three games in four nights.
"It was a lack of execution," Housley said. " ... We defended a lot. When you play that way, you waste a lot of energy in the wrong area."
Buffalo lost its first five but then salvaged three of a possible four points on the final two games of a western trip before losing Friday.
Amazingly, the Sabres surrendered their sixth short-handed goal of the season on Friday.
Asked why this keeps happening, Housley said, "That's a good question. Those things are really a big factor in the game that we've lost. We've built some momentum and it seems to be stealing it from us."
Buffalo's Nate Beaulieu suffered an upper body injury and is day to day with no word on whether he'll play Saturday night.
In a strange scheduling twist, Saturday night's game, the seventh of the young season, is the first for the Bruins within their conference -- and the rest of the homestand is against the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings.
That means eight of the first nine games are against the West.
The Bruins, who will likely again go with Anton Khudobin (2-0, 2.16 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) on Saturday, swept all four games from the Sabres last season, outscoring Buffalo 13-4.
Former Bruin Chad Johnson fell to 1-2-1 with Friday night's loss and Robin Lehner (0-3-1, 3.14 GAA and .900 save percentage) is likely for Saturday.