Backes missing from Bruins' morning skate in Toronto

Backes missing from Bruins' morning skate in Toronto

TORONTO – While Patrice Bergeron looked perfectly healthy and spry getting through morning skate at the Air Canada Centre ahead of tonight’s big game vs. the Maple Leafs, it was another member of that line missing from the ice. 

David Backes was missing from the ice during morning skate. Instead, it was Jimmy Hayes skating on the right side with Bergeron and Brad Marchand while it looked like Noel Acciari was going to draw back in on the fourth line as well.

 

Bruce Cassidy said Backes "was a little under the weather" this morning, so he'll be a game-time decision. Cassidy also said he expects the 32-year-old to play tonight, so he'd obviously replace Hayes up front if he's able to suit up. 

There was some question as to Bergeron's availability after he missed practice on Sunday, but he was a full participant in morning skate. 

We’ll update when we get word on an update for Backes, and whether it’s got anything to do with the knee issue from the Calgary road win.

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. Toronto based on morning skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Hayes

Beleskey-Krejci-Pastrnak

Vatrano-Spooner-Stafford

Moore-Nash-Acciari

 
Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

C. Miller-K. Miller


Rask
 

Game 6 Highlights: Ottawa Senators 3, Boston Bruins 2 (OT)

Game 6 Highlights: Ottawa Senators 3, Boston Bruins 2 (OT)

Highlights from Game 6 at the TD Garden as the Boston Bruins lose in overtime to the Senators, which eliminates them from the playoffs.

Pastrnak owns 'really tough' experience taking OT penalty in loss

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Pastrnak owns 'really tough' experience taking OT penalty in loss

BOSTON – David Pastrnak is usually the brightest light with the Boston Bruins.

The 20-year-old is quick with jokes and smiles, and bubbles with the same kind of energy off the ice that he exudes on it as an electric offensive force of nature for the B’s capable of scoring and making plays in bunches. The joy and the enthusiasm for the game, and for life in general, is always present with the young right winger.

But all of that was replaced with what looked like overriding guilt and emotion after the winger had taken a holding call on Clarke MacArthur in overtime that led to Ottawa’s game-winning PP goal in a 3-2 win in Game 6 at TD Garden that officially eliminated the Black and Gold from the postseason. Bruins fans at the Garden didn’t like the call and let the referees know their displeasure, but afterward Bruce Cassidy backed up the officials that was the right call on a play where Pastrnak was trying to hustle and back-check, and simply got too overzealous with a crafty veteran looking to work a penalty call.

“It was a good call. It looked like, from my vantage point, that Pasta [David Pastrnak] was trying to backtrack and help on the back-check and got tangled up with [MacArthur],” said Cassidy. “So it’s a tough one to overlook. We just didn’t get it done on the penalty kill.”

Pastrnak took responsibility for what looked like a rare competent call from the on-ice officials in the series after hauling down MacArthur in the Boston zone, and looked pretty upset after watching his team fall from the penalty box.

“It’s still hockey,” said Pastrnak, using one of the phrases he’s had ready when asked about this being his first Stanley Cup playoff experience. “There were obviously guys in the game from both teams and there were more blocked shots, and everything. So obviously it’s really tough, but it’s good experience.”

It wasn’t a particularly stellar night for Pastrnak with just a couple of shots on net and three giveaways to go along with the overtime penalty, and it surely was a step down from a very strong Game 5 performance in Ottawa. Still, his teammates didn’t want the enthusiastic 20-year-old blaming himself for the playoff loss after a brilliant breakout season where he finished with 34 goals and 70 points in becoming one of the best young offensive players in the NHL.

“He’s back-checking and trying to battle and then a tough play gets a penalty called. So I understand his situation [of feeling like it’s his fault] but we are a team,” said Tuukka Rask. “It’s never about one guy, winning or losing, so he’ll be fine. Nobody is blaming him. It’s just one of those that ended up costing us, so it sucks.”

It will probably suck for a long time this offseason when Pastrnak thinks about how things ended in the playoffs for him, but it should also light a fire when he returns to Boston next season as a 21-year-old ready to continue dominating for the Black and Gold.