While the Bruins were undermanned for Game 1 against the Red Wings, it appears there’s a chance that they’ll have more help in Game 2 Sunday.
The Bruins were without four of their regulars Friday night: Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, and Kevan Miller. And while Kelly did not take the ice Saturday, the other three did at various times.
Bartkowski and Miller returned to the ice for the full team practice, after both had missed most of the week while suffering from the “flu bug” that coach Claude Julien said had affected the team last week. Bartkowski hadn’t skated with the team all week, and Miller had skated only once, on Thursday.
“I don’t know yet,” Julien said about Bartkowski and Miller. “Bartkowski, it’s his first day practicing this week and Miller is his second, so it’ll depend on how they feel [Sunday]. We’ve got contingency plans here whether they play or not. Confirmation, I can’t give it to you today.”
Flu-like symptoms cost the Bruins a host of players Tuesday, including Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, and Andrej Meszaros. While those three seemed to recover quickly, the two defensemen have been slower to feel better. Meszaros and Corey Potter filled in for Bartkowski and Miller Friday night.
Paille, meanwhile, did not skate with the team, but he skated beforehand with other two other injured players, Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg. The trio worked out with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. Paille appeared to suffer a head injury when he was hit by the Sabres’ Jake McCabe a week ago, and he has not practiced with the team in that time.
Kelly suffered a back injury April 8 in Minnesota. He has not yet gotten back on the ice.
No panic — yet
The Bruins were doing their best to remain even-keeled Saturday, after dropping Game 1 the night before. It was, after all, only one game. But with the Bruins having home-ice advantage, losing a second game to Detroit in Boston wouldn’t exactly be ideal.
“It’s real important,” Milan Lucic said of winning Game 2. “Obviously you’ve got to take everything one game at a time. Obviously we don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we’re down 0-2.
“So it makes tomorrow’s game much more important for us, but we don’t want to put too, too much pressure on ourselves where we can’t control our emotions and go out there and play our game. That’s what we need to do.”
It’s a situation the team has been in before.
“We’ve been in a lot of different situations in playoffs, and being down 1-0 isn’t something new for us,” said Johnny Boychuk. “We don’t like it, obviously. We want to come in and get the next one in our rink before going into Detroit.”
Eriksson made his return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, the last time (before this season) that Dallas had made it to the postseason. Asked whether it took him a little while to get back up to playoff speed, Eriksson said, “A little bit. But at the same time, I’ve been through it before. They’re just fun games to play. Everyone wants to win. It’s a battle.” . . . Asked if his team was discouraged by how Game 1 went, Carl Soderberg said, “I don’t know what that means, but I don’t think so.” When the word frustrated was substituted, Soderberg said, “No.” . . . Julien praised the job that the Red Wings did in slowing the Bruins down, and said that’s one of the crucial things that his team needs to address. “They do a good job when it comes to our forecheck, they get there,” Julien said. “They like to have bodies in front of us on the forecheck to kind of slow us down. We’ve got to find ways to get through that. There’s no question about that. I think that’s one of the reasons that we weren’t as effective on our forecheck [Friday] as we have in the past. We’ve got to find ways to get through that. If they’re going to slow us down, if we’re skating, hopefully they’ll end up taking penalties but we’ve got to work through those things and establish the forecheck that we feel is an important part of our game.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.