BOSTON -- The Bruins beefed up their defensemen depth at the NHL trade deadline and those depthsare already being tested.
Andrew Ference exited Thursday night's 4-3 overtime win at TD Garden over the New Jersey Devils in the third period with a "lower body injury" and never returned to action. Ference has a history of groin issues over the years, but it's unclear if that was the problem this time around.
The B's defenseman took a heavy hit from Alex Ponikarovsky in the corner during the second period, butit was unclearif that had anything to do with Ference's exit after just 2:40 and four shifts in the third period.
"He suffered a lower body injury and the medical staff thought it was better to hold him out of the game," said Claude Julien. "We'll know more about the injury tomorrow."
Julien had actually shortened his bench and was skipping Joe Corvo while going with a five-man defensemen rotation to start the third period. But the B's coach was forced to put Corvo back into the regular rotation when Ference had to leavethe game prematurely.
Greg Zonan, by contrast, was impressive in his debut with the Bruins, and it appears that Johnny Boychuk is trending toward a potential return this weekend from a mild concussion if things continue to improve. Mike Mottau was a healthy scratch for Thursday's game against the Devils, but that may change given Ference's developing injury situation.
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics made one more roster move on Friday, but not the one many were anticipating.
Instead of trimming the training camp roster down to 15 players, the Celtics expanded it by signing Ryan Kelly.
The 6-foot-11 forward appeared in six games for the Atlanta Hawks during the preseason, averaging 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
A former second round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013, Kelly has appeared in 147 games with career averages of 6.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Boston already has a stacked roster at the power forward/center position, which is why they decided to waive second round pick and former Providence College star Ben Bentil earlier on Friday.
The addition of Kelly, on the surface at least, doesn't make a lot of sense.
But the Celtics are trying to build a team for the present while keeping an eye on the future.
When the Celtics waived Bentil, they did so with the knowledge that he was unlikely to sign with their Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
But with Kelly, the veteran big man will likely wind up with the Red Claws which will allow the Celtics to get a closer look at him without impacting their roster status which is currently at 16, one above the league-maximum.
The final roster spot will come down to James Young and R.J. Hunter. The Celtics have until 5 p.m. Monday to make a decision, a decision that team officials have repeatedly said in recent days will come down to the wire.
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