The Bruins left Monday’s 4-2 win over the Ducks unsure whether David Krejci would suit up for Thursday’s star-filled tilt with Tampa Bay.
Krejci, who skated just 4:43 over seven shifts against Anaheim. Coach Bruce Cassidy hoped that Krejci, who skated just 1:22 in one preseason contest against the Flyers before exiting with a lower-body injury, would benefit from Tuesday’s off day.
With 7:55 left in the first period, Krejci took a cross-check to the right arm from Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf. On NESN’s postgame show, Cassidy said Krejci had an “upper body” injury. “I think he got cross-checked, tried to keep playing, and it just was uncomfortable,” Cassidy said. “I suspect — but I’ve said this before — it won’t be long-term.” Before finally departing for good, Krejci took an elbow to the right side from Ducks defenseman Josh Manson.
With Krejci missing, fourth-line wingers Joakim Nordstrom and Chris Wagner moved into the middle, each skating a season-high in minutes (15:56 and 16:47, respectively). Charlie Coyle (14:32) and Patrice Bergeron (18:08) logged their usual workloads.
“We moved some people around and got through it,” Cassidy said. “Hopefully Krech is good to go on Thursday.”
If not, Par Lindholm, scratched the last two games, would likely draw in, though Cassidy left open the possibility that Coyle could play No. 2 center. That would likely push Sean Kuraly up to No. 3 center, leaving Lindholm as pivot No. 4.
Reserve defenseman Steven Kampfer made his season debut, skating next to Matt Grzelcyk on Boston’s third pair. Kampfer, who signed a two-year, $1.6 million extension to remain here, played in 35 games in the regular season last year (3-3—6) and three times in the playoffs.
“He’s a good pro,” Cassidy said. “We want to reward him for his work and doing that part of the job.
Kampfer had to defend a three-on-one in the second period, letting Jaroslav Halak make the save. He landed three shots and took a hooking penalty in 12:29 of work.
Cassidy said the move was also a signal flare to Connor Clifton, who was scratched for the first time this season. To his coach’s eye, the 24-year-old has played well (“not dominant-well, but he’s done his job,” Cassidy said). But a lineup spot is not guaranteed to anyone with a résumé 42 games long.
“It’s a bit of a message to Cliffy, too, that you’re not going to automatically go in every night,” Cassidy said. “You’ve got to do your part and work hard and get better in practice.”
Tough day at the office
It was a brutal day for Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who had a front-row seat for each David Pastrnak goal.
He made a poor clearing attempt on the first, knocking it back to Torey Krug at the point before Pastrnak’s power-play one-timer. Brad Marchand pounced on Lindholm’s blind backhand outlet before feeding Pastrnak for the 2-0 goal. The blue liner was on the other side of the faceoff setup, out of the play, when Pastrnak snapped one home for a hat trick -- but Anaheim had iced the puck four consecutive times before that draw, and Lindholm was at fault for three of them.
He was guilty, too, on Pastrnak’s fourth goal. The winger got body position on Lindholm for a net-front tap.
His performance wasn’t the only lesson his first-year coach, Dallas Eakins, planned to take from this game. He was thinking about the Bruins as a whole.
“I think there’s lots of lessons that we can all learn from this organization,” Eakins said. “The way they transitioned their organization five years ago and where they’re at today, how fast they play. You can see why they were 60 minutes away from a Stanley Cup ring.”
The Bruins went 4 for 4 on the penalty kill, and one of them was a phantom call. Cassidy said referee Eric Furlatt apologized for booking Pastrnak for tripping in the second period.
As he went to the slot, Anaheim’s Max Comtois lost his footing in a Bermuda Triangle of Pastrnak, Marchand, and Krug. None were within a stick’s reach of Comtois, but Pastrnak was whistled off.
“He came over, said he missed it, he blew it,” Cassidy said. “Good for him. We appreciate his honesty. It’s going to happen. We killed it and moved on.”
Halak saw his goals-against average drop from 1.33 to 1.69, behind teammate Tuukka Rask (1:52). Among keepers with three or more starts, Rask is first and Halak is fourth in that category. Rask is tied with Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper for first in save percentage (.957). Halak is second (.951) . . . Brothers Nick and Brett Ritchie, proud sons of Orangeville, Ontario, squared off against each other for the seventh time as NHLers. The six previous games came when Brett, 26, was a member of the Stars. With an assist in the third period, Nick now leads the Ritchie Bowl scoring race, two assists to one (neither has a goal). Nick, 23, was an Anaheim first-rounder (10th overall) in 2014, while Dallas chose Brett in the second round (44th overall) in 2012 . . . The Bruins held a pregame moment of “applause and celebration” for former defenseman Ted Green, who died last Tuesday at age 79 . . . The public address announcer was Pete McKenzie, of WZLX’s “Karlson, McKenzie, and Heather.” The Bruins are still auditioning for now-retired Jim Martin’s old gig . . . The Bruins are 8 for 8 on the penalty kill their last two games.