Bruins forward Chris Wagner will miss Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders, according to coach Bruce Cassidy.
Wagner did not skate Friday morning and will not travel to New York, but he could rejoin the team later in the three-game road trip. Cassidy called Wagner “day-to-day” and considered Tuesday’s marquee matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning a possibility.
“Hopefully, he gets back on the ice [Saturday],” Cassidy said.
In the second period of Thursday’s win over the Dallas Stars, Wagner suffered an upper-body injury after tackling center Mattias Janmark. He received a roughing penalty and served two minutes in the box before exiting for the dressing room. He did not return to the game.
Cassidy said Wagner’s replacement will be either Anders Bjork or Joakim Nordstrom, while Karson Kuhlman will skate as right wing on the third line.
Checking on Krejci’s line
With 17 regular-season games left on the schedule, Cassidy is hoping to resolve a handful of lineup questions.
How do new faces Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kaše fit alongside second-line center David Krejci? Cassidy said he liked how the group looked Thursday night and will stick to the combination for at least one more game.
Will Bjork earn his spot? Against the Stars, Bjork was benched midway through the second period. The 23-year-old winger will be battling for playing time with Kuhlman and Anton Blidh.
“There was a bit of a learning curve for him [Thursday] night,” Cassidy said. “We’d like Anders to grow so that he’ll be able to play in those types of environments.”
Is Sean Kuraly the fourth line’s center or winger? Cassidy noted Kuraly is capable of making plays in both positions.
Will the team have the luxury to manage minutes? Heading into Saturday’s game, the Bruins hold a 7-point advantage over the Lightning for the East’s top seed. Should the team secure home ice throughout the postseason, Cassidy expressed interest in resting players down the stretch.
“It would be great if we did,” Cassidy said. “Our success going forward here, the next two-three weeks, will dictate that.”
A crowd for McAvoy
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who grew up in Long Beach, N.Y., plans to take his family out to dinner Friday night and is looking forward to having a strong showing of fans at Saturday’s game. Said McAvoy: “It’s always good to play in front of your loved ones. I’m excited for that.”. . . Tuukka Rask will be in net Saturday . . . Cassidy did not have an update on the timetable for a return to action for defenseman Connor Clifton, who last appeared in a game on Dec. 29, when he suffered an upper body injury.