PITTSBURGH The skeleton crew left on the Bruins bench and the astronomically high ice time totals for Bostons top forwards told the tale of an undermanned, injury-ravaged hockey club.
The Bruins lost three more players and nearly a fourth to injuries in a physically punishing 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center on Sunday afternoon.
Adam McQuaid went down with an upper body injury after a collision with Pittsburgh power forward James Neal in the first period, and never returned after four shifts and 1:59 of ice time.
Patrice Bergeron appeared to get hit in the lower left leg with a Matti Niskanen shot and twice attempted to return to the game before finally heading back to the Bs dressing room following one quick shift in the third period.
Max Sauve suffered a lower body injury in the second period and managed only seven shifts and 3:43 of ice time in his NHL debut playing in place of the injured Benoit Pouliot.
Claude Julien said there werent any plans to send any of the three injured players back to Boston, and thats a good sign. But the injuries to both McQuaid and Bergeron looked like they might lead to short term absences for each. Any absence for No. 37 is something that an undermanned Bruins unit cant afford.
Sauve is lower body. McQuaid as you saw from the Neal hit is upper body. Bergeron blocked a shot, said Julien. Theres nothing more than that right now. I havent been told that anybody is out for a long period of time and thats what basically we have to go on right now.
The next day is when well have a better idea on those bumps and bruises, so well have a better idea tomorrow.
With the Bruins already down four players because of injury, the hope has to be that at least a couple of the Sunday injuries turn out to be relatively minor ones. But theres a lot of hope and a pile of ice bags surrounding a black-and-blue Bs franchise right now, and thats not necessarily a good combination.