BOSTON – The Boston Bruins should be feeling good after a 5-2 Game 1 win over the New York Islanders in the second round of the playoffs, but the victory may have come at a bit of a price. Right winger Craig Smith was knocked out of Saturday night’s game at TD Garden with a lower body injury that limited him to just 10:14 of ice time in the victory.
Smith skated the first couple of shifts in the third, but then was replaced by Jake DeBrusk on that line for most of the rest of the game’s final segment before the club announced he was done for the night. It appeared that the speedy, versatile Smith took the brunt of a leg-on-leg hit from Islanders winger Cal Clutterbuck, so it remains to be seen how serious or minor it turns out to be for a guy that’s quickly developed into a very valuable top-6 winger for the Black and Gold.
“Lower-body [injury and he] did not come back. [We’ll] reassess in the morning. When you don’t come back [in the game] that’s the first red flag, but it’s early,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’ll have a better update in the morning.”
Any kind of a serious injury for Smith would be a tough blow for the Bruins given how well he’s been skating on the second line with David Krejci and Taylor Hall during the playoffs. It’s also tough timing for the B’s given how they had just healed up after a tough first round series against Washington that saw Jeremy Lauzon go down with an injury before returning for the Islanders series.
Smith has a goal and three points along with a plus-1 rating in six games for the B’s during these playoffs and had the big double overtime game-winner in Game 3 vs. Washington that became a turning point in that series. It was a bit of a quiet night for Smith in Game 1 vs. the Islanders, though as he missed the net with three of his four shot attempts before exiting with the injury.