Halfway through the second period of Game 3 Wednesday night, the Bruins lost Gregory Campbell to an injured right leg.
The fourth-line center was injured while killing off a too many men penalty. On the play, Campbell was marking the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin at the point. Malkin teed up a slap shot that clanged into Campbell’s right leg.
The shot caused Campbell to buckle and lose one of his gloves. Play continued, however, which prevented Campbell from retreating to the bench. Campbell, practically on one leg, had to stay on the ice for approximately 50 seconds while the Bruins killed the penalty. When the Bruins finally cleared the puck, Campbell made it to the bench. He immediately limped down the tunnel with help from physical therapist Scott Waugh. Campbell didn’t return.
“We’ll probably know better tomorrow,’’ coach Claude Julien said of Campbell’s injury. “Obviously it was a pretty serious injury. Certainly it shows the character of that player, and that’s why we appreciate having him on our team.’’
“We tried to rally around him,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored the winner in the 2-1 double-overtime victory. “We tried to do it for him. He’s a big player on and off the ice.”
Campbell’s final numbers: 10 shifts, 6:51 of ice time, one hit, two blocked shots, one takeaway, and three lost faceoffs.
“That’s a thankless job right there,’’ teammate Chris Kelly said. “Soup does that. He’s been doing it is whole career, and I think the fact that he stayed up, finished his shift, and made it to the bench speaks volumes about how strong he is and willingness to battle.”
The Bruins lost not only their No. 4 center but one of their trusted penalty-killers. Without Campbell, the Bruins couldn’t roll their fourth line. Shawn Thornton skated only six shifts for 3:56 of ice time. Daniel Paille took some shifts on the third line with Kelly and Tyler Seguin.
Campbell had dressed for all 15 postseason games, collecting three goals and four assists. He was the linchpin of the fourth line that controlled segments of the series vs. the Rangers.
The shield law
On Tuesday, the NHL’s competition committee, which consists of players and team executives, agreed on making visors mandatory. If approved, the rule would begin next season. Players with less than 25 games of regular-season or playoff experience in the NHL would be required to wear shields. Players with more than 25 games of experience who currently don’t wear visors would be allowed to play without them.
Seven current Bruins do not wear shields: Campbell, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Thornton, Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, and Adam McQuaid. All seven would be grandfathered in, allowing them to continue playing without shields. Julien approved the decision.
“When a young player comes up playing minor hockey with a visor and he’s used to it, why take it off?” Julien asked. “I know there’s been some accidents with a visor. But there’s been more incidents saved by the visor than the other side of it.
“It’s like a seatbelt in the car. How many lives does it save? Every once a while, you’ll hear, ‘He was caught in the car because of his seatbelt.’
“I think it’s a good thing they’re encouraging that visor and that it’s going to be grandfathered in. I believe in it. I’m on that side.”
Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik played without a shield until this season. He opted for the visor after Rangers defenseman Marc Staal suffered an eye injury March 5. Staal wasn’t wearing a shield.
“I wore it for one morning skate, then I wore it [for a game],” said Orpik. “It’s not a big adjustment. If you want to wear it, it’s good for you and it’s not much of an adjustment. If you put it on and you don’t want to wear it, you’re going to find something wrong with it.”
Mix and match
The Bruins were planning to take advantage of their home-ice matchups in Games 3 and 4. The Bruins would find it easier to land their preferred matchups with the last change. Chara and Dennis Seidenberg were expected to play against Malkin. Ference and Johnny Boychuk, along with Bergeron’s line, were projected to draw Sidney Crosby. “It’s a little bit harder, but we’ll look for ways on the road to get either Sid or Geno’s line on the ice in situations where they don’t have those guys on the ice,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. “A lot of that’s dictated by us being able to play in the offensive zone. We haven’t really done a lot of playing in the offensive zone. So it’s been more to the matchup liking for their team, whether that’s home or on the road.” . . . The Bruins were 6 for 6 on the penalty kill. They are perfect shorthanded against the Penguins . . . The Bruins didn’t make any lineup changes. Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Wade Redden, Kaspars Daugavins, Carl Soderberg, and Jay Pandolfo were the healthy scratches . . . Tuukka Rask dropped some naughty words when a shot caught him high during the morning skate. Rask, who made 53 saves, entered Game 3 with a 0.50 GAA and a .982 save percentage. He has allowed just two goals in the series. In comparison, 11 pucks have slipped behind Tomas Vokoun and Marc-Andre Fleury. “We don’t need perfection,” Bylsma said. of his goaltending before Game 3 “We’re looking for a solid game between the pipes from our goaltender to allow our team to win the hockey game.” Vokoun gave up a goal on to David Krejci on the first shot he saw but didn’t allow another until Bergeron’s winner.