The Boston Bruins were able to grab sole possession of first place in their division on Wednesday night with a win over the New Jersey Devils, but playing back-to-back games with an injury-riddled second line will likely put them right back in second.
If the Montreal Canadiens win on Thursday night, the Bruins will drop right back into fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
The team’s most productive offensive line of late had been the combination of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Tyler Seguin, but injuries have derailed the grouping — along with the team’s chemistry. Bergeron suffered his fourth career concession just over a week ago, and Marchand was diagnosed with a similar injury after taking a vicious elbow to the head last night.
For Thursday’s game against the New York Islanders, Bruins coach Claude Julien was forced to mix and match the lines once again, and with a tired team that had no time to adjust to new linemates, the outcome was predictable. The Islanders prevailed 2-1, but the score could have been much worse if not for another solid performance from Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.
The schedule won’t get any softer for Boston going forward. The Bruins will next take the ice on Saturday at the Carolina Hurricanes, and they will play every other day thereafter for the remainder of the regular season. There is no word yet on how long Bergeron and Marchand will be out.