It was a bit of good news and bad news for the Boston Bruins in the health department after their overtime Game 2 win against the Washington Capitals.
The bad news is that big, heavy D-man Jeremy Lauzon (right hand) has already been ruled out of Wednesday night’s Game 3 against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. The fact he’s already out before tomorrow’s morning skate, and that he will have missed two games after getting hit with a Justin Schultz slapper, points toward an injury that might keep him out for a period of time.
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“He won’t be available [for Game 3],” said Bruce Cassidy. “He’s day-to-day with an injury.”
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The 24-year-old Lauzon missed a month during the regular season with a fractured left hand, and the young defenseman struggled for a couple of weeks upon returning to the lineup following his lengthy absence due to injury. Lauzon’s absence means Connor Clifton will get some more playoff time in the Boston Bruins lineup after playing a feisty, confident game against the Capitals in Game 2 with four shot attempts, a hit and a blocked shot in 14:37 of ice time in the first period.
“[He did] a really good job. He got caught once on the wall in the second period on a rimmed puck where he got on the wrong of a battle with [TJ] Oshie, but his partner made a nice play on it to get him out of it,” said Cassidy. “That was the only time he really got out of position. I thought he did a really good job of staying clean and that was the ask.
“I framed [the assignment to Clifton] as, ‘You’ve got to be physical, Cliffy. That’s part of your game and it’s got to happen tonight. Don’t be reckless and when you have the puck understand what they’re trying to do in the neutral zone’. He stayed within himself very well.”
The good news for the Boston Bruins? Kevan Miller’s significant amount of missed time during the first period of Game 2 wasn’t related to any knee issues, but was instead because the hardnosed, rugged veteran D-man suffered a “nasty cut” after throwing a hit in the game’s opening minutes. Miller returned for the final two periods and finished with 10:30 of ice time while playing important minutes on the penalty kill in the big win.
“He’s good to go. He got a nasty cut from one of the hits [he made]. It wasn’t his previous injury, which was good news,” said Cassidy. “He got stitched up and went back out there. It’s a little sensitive today. But he should be good to go tomorrow assuming there’s no issues with that.”
The B’s bench boss said he didn’t determine any changes to the Boston Bruins lineup for Game 3 based on any health concerns following Monday night’s win in Washington.