In Tuesday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins forward Charlie Coyle left after the second period and did not return. Following the game, coach Bruce Cassidy did not have an update on his third-line right wing.
As of early Thursday morning, Coyle’s availability for tonight’s home game against the New York Rangers is not known. Boston looks to have avoided a major scare with Brad Marchand crashing hard into the boards in the second period of Tuesday’s game.
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As the Bruins get ready to close out the regular season with four games in six nights before the playoffs begin, one thing that the Black and Gold can’t afford any more of is injuries.
Tuesday night in Newark, N.J. against the Devils, Boston got a big lift when Brandon Carlo returned from being out for nearly two months to bolster their blueline. Carlo suffered a concussion on March 5 on a hit from Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, then suffered an oblique injury on April 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Getting Carlo back gives the Bruins a solid top-four defense heading into the postseason with Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and new addition Mike Reilly.
Upfront, the Bruins are healthy with their top-six and they would like it to stay that way. Their bottom-six, however, could be missing Coyle, but lately, their bottom-six has been playing some good hockey. They are getting scoring again from Nick Ritchie and Sean Kuraly has been collecting points in the last week as well.
The Rangers should be coming into the game a tired group following their game with the Capitals last night that saw the teams combine to rack up 141 penalty minutes on the heels of Wilson’s actions in Monday night’s game. The tone was set from the drop of the puck with the two teams starting lines dropping the gloves one second into the game.
Tonight is a key game in terms of points for the Bruins who are one game up on the New York Islanders for third place with a game in hand, but just as importantly in the final four games, the Bruins need to get out of this game and the remaining three a healthy as can be for the playoffs.