NEW YORK — The playing status of Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, struck in the face Wednesday night by a David Pastrnak shot at UBS Arena, was still unknown here Thursday morning, some eight hours prior to the Bruins facing the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Struck early in the third period by a Pastrnak shot that ricocheted out of the slot, Bergeron finished out the 4-1 win over the Islanders, despite initially having to be helped off the ice when the puck felled him in the right circle at 4:26 of the third period.
Despite the obvious pain, Bergeron soon returned to the bench, moments after a Brad Marchand power-play goal boosted the Bruins lead to 3-1. Bergeron’s right nostril was packed with gauze for the remainder of the period and, per standard team policy, he did not meet with the media during postgame interviews.
“We’re hoping all the X-rays come back good,” coach Jim Montgomery told a small media contingent before the team bus made its way into the city from Elmont, N.Y.
As noon approached, the Bruins had not made public the results of the X-rays.
The Bruins, also in keeping with standard practice around back-to-back games, did not meet at MSG Thursday morning. Montgomery is not scheduled to meet with the media until 75-90 minutes prior to the 7:08 p.m. puck drop.
Asked if he were inclined to give Bergeron the night off, because of injury or simply the physical demands of playing back-to-back games, Montgomery said, “I’m going to let Bergeron make that decision. If he is healthy and everything’s good, I’ll let him make that decision.”
A team spokesperson said no update on Bergeron is expected until Montgomery meets with the media.
As noon approached, the Bruins had announced no roster moves. Center Thomas Nosek sat out the game vs. the Islanders, allowing Montgomery to get another look at prospect Joona Koppanen.
Nosek has been battling an upper-body injury for the last three-plus weeks, but he has played and likely would be an option to suit up if Bergeron needed time on the sideline.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.