FLYERS AT BRUINS | 7 P.M. (NESN)
john tlumacki/globe staff file
By the count of Wade Arnott, David Backes’s agent, the 33-year-old Bruins forward has been credited with approximately 2,400 hits during his career, and he had avoided suspension on every one.
Backes’s luck changed with Tuesday’s hit on Detroit’s Frans Nielsen. Backes was suspended three games. He will begin serving his suspension Thursday night against Philadelphia.
Nielsen has an upper-body injury and has been ruled out of Detroit’s next two games.
“First and foremost, the fact that Frans Nielsen’s hurt [stinks],” Backes said. “I wasn’t intending to hurt him. I hope he has a quick and full recovery and he’s back on the ice soon.
“That’s certainly an unintended consequence to the play. The play’s kind of an awkward, one-off play where he’s coming back in the zone, receiving the puck, sees me coming. I’m going to finish a hit, trying to get around him. By the end, I’m trying to abort the whole thing altogether to just avoid it all.
“The decision’s the decision. That’s the way the process is currently with the collective bargaining agreement.”
Tommy Wingels will replace Backes as the No. 3 center. Danton Heinen will take Backes’s spot on the No. 1 power-play unit.
■ Charlie McAvoy knew right away that he had injured his left knee on his first shift against Montreal last Saturday.
“Went down and felt a little nervous,” McAvoy said. “I never had any sort of knee problem. Little bit scared. Natural feelings whenever something feels off. Now I’m just fortunate it wasn’t anything more severe.”
McAvoy was diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will miss at least four weeks.
■ Tuukka Rask will start in net against the Flyers.
■ Adam McQuaid will return to the lineup, even after taking a puck to the face in the morning skate. Nick Holden will be the healthy scratch.
■ Brad Marchand was excused from the morning skate for personal reasons. He will play tonight.
Brad Marchand-Riley Nash-David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Rick Nash
Danton Heinen-Tommy Wingels-Brian Gionta
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
■ When, where: Thursday, 7 p.m., at TD Garden.
■ TV, radio: NESN, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Goals: Sean Couturier 29, Claude Giroux 23, Wayne Simmonds 20.
■ Assists: Jakub Voracek 57, Giroux 56 Shayne Gostisbehere 40.
■ Goaltending: Petr Mrazek (3-3-1, 3.08), Alex Lyon (2-1-0, 2.88).
■ Head to head: This is the second of three meetings. The Bruins won the first, 3-0, Dec. 2.
■ Miscellany: The Flyers are missing their top two goalies, Brian Elliott (abdominal surgery) and Michal Neuvirth (lower body) . . . Voracek is tied for the league lead in assists; Giroux is tied for third . . . The Flyers have lost four straight after winning six in a row.
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