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Bruins Roster News: Krug Back; Vaakanainen To Providence; Backes Skates

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The Boston Bruins roster shuffling will continue Saturday night. Head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Bruins defensemen Torey Krug and Steven Kampfer, as well as forward Brett Ritchie, will be in the lineup against the Minnesota Wild at TD Garden. Cassidy also told the media that defesnemen Connor Clifton and Urho Vaakanainen will be healthy scratches and forward Par Lindholm will miss the game due to a cut suffered in the 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night.

*UPDATE*

The Bruins announced at 2:50 PM ET that Vaakanainen had be reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL).

“Krug will be in,” Cassidy said after the morning skate Saturday. “Kampfer’s going in too. It’s been a while since Steve’s played, so ‘Vaak’ [Vaakanainen] and Clifton too. Ritchie’s going in too as well, he’s back. Lindholm will be out. Lindholm has a bad gash on him. He may have been the guy anyway, but this is a little bit of precaution.”

Krug, who last played November 10 against the Philadelphia Flyers has two goals and 13 assists in 17 games.

Ritchie missed the last game with an infection that has nagged him for the last month. The rugged forward has two goals and an assist in 14 games.

Kampfer, the team’s extra defenseman, has skated in just two games this season, the last being against the Ottawa Senators November 2.

Backes Skates

Bruins forward David Backes (upper-body) who hasn’t played or skated since November 2, when he went down in a nasty collision with Senators forward Scott Sabourin, skated for the first time Saturday in an optional skate for the Bruins. Backes wore the maroon, non-contact jersey. There is no timetable for his return.

While skating Saturday is obviously a good sign, Cassidy stressed that the team is taking an extremely cautious approach given Backes’ concussion history.

“Yeah, it’s good. I mean it was a scary situation obviously for both players there against Ottawa,” Cassidy said. “He’s taken some time away from the rink and he’s kind of checking the boxes to get back in the lineup. One of them is to get back on the ice. So that’s step one.

This is an individual decision first, right. Then you talk with the team obviously to make sure that everything’s done properly because once you’ve had a few head injuries, you got to be really careful. So our situation, we don’t need to rush anybody back right now, no matter who it is, especially in this situation. So, yes we’re being as careful as we need to be along with the individual’s consent. So that’s where it’s at, and I couldn’t even tell you what the next sort of … until you see him in a practice jersey, which I don’t know when that’ll be yet, that’s something for probably down the road.”

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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