SUNRISE, FL – The Boston Bruins are really beginning to test their center depth in this first round series against the Florida Panthers.
Already down their No. 1 center after Patrice Bergeron didn’t make the trip to Florida for Friday night’s Game 3 or Sunday’s Game 5 matinee at FLA Live Arena, second line center David Krejci was scratched for Game 3 with an upper body injury. Krejci took part in pregame warm-ups in Florida while centering Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall during line rushes, but he was replaced by Nick Foligno in the lineup when it came time for puck drop.
UPDATE: David Krejci (upper body) will not play in tonight’s game.
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After the game, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery didn’t have a definitive update on the 36-year-old playmaking center’s availability for Game 4 on Sunday afternoon.
“I can’t really answer…I’d say it’s 50/50,” said Montgomery. “We knew there was a good chance that he wasn’t going to play [in Game 3].”
Krejci has looked like he might be playing through something during the first round series with a single assist and a minus-3 along with four shots on net in the two games that he’s played in the first round playoff series.
That leaves Charlie Coyle as the only one of Boston’s top three centers able to suit up for a pivotal Game 3 against the Panthers, and forced Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery to really shake things up with his forwards. Brad Marchand was skating on the fourth line with Tomas Nosek and Garnet Hathaway and Pavel Zacha was centering Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak while Jakub Lauko was skating left wing with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic at points as well.
The other health question mark was Linus Ullmark, who led the Boston Bruins on the ice for Game 3 and once again suited up between the pipes while stopping everything that he saw early in the game.