BRIGHTON, Mass – It looks like the Boston Bruins might be forced into tinkering with their forward group again on Saturday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres.
Chris Wagner and Mike Reilly both missed Friday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with maintenance days, but it appears to be a little more than with each player. Reilly has been dealing with a nagging injury that the Bruins are trying to calm down, but the puck-moving defenseman is expected to give it a go for the Saturday matinee against the Sabres.
It sounds like Wagner, on the other hand, isn’t expected to play after skating 11 shifts and a team-low 8:52 of ice time in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Sabres at TD Garden on Thursday night.
“Reilly has a nagging injury that he needed to get looked at, but I suspect that he’ll play [on Saturday],” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Wagner probably not [playing on Saturday], but we’ll make that decision in the morning.”
It remains to be seen if that means Jake DeBrusk will draw back into the lineup after he stood ready to step in for Craig Smith, who eventually ended up playing on Thursday, or the Bruins opt for a fourth line-type like Anton Blidh instead. Brandon Carlo once again skated without any limitations at practice, took some shifts with Matt Grzelcyk during practice and continues to appear fully healed from an oblique injury that set him back.
Carlo is expected to jump back into game action next week against thew New Jersey Devils after having played just three games since the March 5 head shot at the hands of Tom Wilson. Cassidy also named rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman as the starter for Saturday’s matinee against the Sabres, with Jaroslav Halak presumably serving as the backup as he’s done for the last few weeks.
Here are the projected Boston Bruins line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice at Warrior: