David Backes, involved in a crash on Saturday with Ottawa forward Scott Sabourin that sent the latter to the hospital, is likely to miss the Bruins’ next two games, at least.
Coach Bruce Cassidy pegged Backes as “doubtful” to play Monday against Pittsburgh and Tuesday in Montreal, but he did not have more detailed information on Backes’s condition.
The club announced that Backes has an undisclosed upper-body injury.
“It was a pretty good collision,” Cassidy said. “Like everybody, he was a little rattled by everything that transpired. Let’s just see how he’s doing tomorrow and go forward from there. It’s hard for me to say until the exact injury is determined.”
Backes didn’t return Saturday after Sabourin, who knocked his head as he checked Backes, was stretchered off the ice after a solemn delay of 11-plus minutes.
It is likely Backes was examined for concussion symptoms afterward. Backes, 35, has a history of concussions, the most recent of which is believed to have occurred last October.
As for Sabourin, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said the 27-year-old forward was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday.
Speaking to reporters late Sunday morning in Ottawa, Dorion added that Sabourin’s nose was broken, but he didn’t go into further detail about his condition.
The team placed Sabourin on injured reserve.
From his hospital bed Sunday morning, Sabourin posted an Instagram selfie, smiling with his left eye swollen shut and his nose crooked.
“Thanks for all the well wishes,” he wrote. “Hope to be back out on the ice in the near future.”
Carrying 12 healthy forwards with Backes, Joakim Nordstrom (elbow infection), Karson Kuhlman (broken leg), Par Lindholm (upper body) out of the lineup, the Bruins could make a call to Providence if Brett Ritchie (infected cut) cannot play Monday. Ritchie, who sat out Saturday’s game, skated during a lightly-attended Sunday session. Ritchie would slot in with third-line center Charlie Coyle and left wing Anders Bjork. Even if Ritchie can play, Cassidy and general manager Don Sweeney could determine Peter Cehlarik (9:55 of ice time against the Senators) isn’t a fit with fourth-liners Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner . . . Nordstrom, who has missed three games, will not be available until Friday at Detroit, at the earliest . . . Jaroslav Halak will face the Penguins on Monday, Tuukka Rask set to go in La Belle Province . . . The Penguins (8-5-1), 2-1 overtime losers to Edmonton on Saturday, have Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad back from long-term injuries. However, the team on Sunday put net-front presence Patric Hornqvist on IR, a tough blow to a power play that’s in an 0-for-20 slump. They haven’t scored a power play goal since Oct. 13.
Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports