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The Bruins (22-14-7) and New York Rangers (21-17-6) will skate at TD Garden in a Saturday matinee of Original Six proportions. These two teams faced each other earlier this week in New York, with the Blue Shirts escaping with a 3-2 victory after blowing a two-goal lead.
Boston had three games so far this week, and in each of those games they lost a key teammate to injury. Monday against the Rangers, it was Patrice Bergeron who went down, and now he’ll be sidelined 2-3 weeks with a broken thumb. Tuesday in Ottawa, defenseman Andrew Ference fell victim to the injury bug. Ference will be out about 6 weeks with a groin injury.
And in the opening seconds of Thursday’s game with Chicago, center Marc Savard went legs first into the boards, tweaking his right knee. An official report from Friday’s MRI has not been released by the team, but Canada’s TSN is reporting Savard will be out 2-3 weeks with a strain of that knee. On top of all that, Byron Bitz missed Thursday’s game with back issues and is doubtful for today’s game.
How do the Bruins fill all these voids? Enter defenseman Adam McQuaid, in place of Ference. Enter forward Trent Whitfield, called up from Providence yesterday. And welcome back the return of winger Milan Lucic, who rejoined the squad in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks. These are the guys the B’s will rely on through the rest of this month, until their big guns can return.
Let’s now turn our attention to Saturday’s familiar foe, the New York Rangers, with some news and notes heading into this afternoon’s Causeway St. tilt: