Backes out of Bruins lineup 'indefinitely' with concussion

Backes out of Bruins lineup 'indefinitely' with concussion

BOSTON - As was suspected from the moment David Backes was on the receiving end of William Carrier’s blindside hit on Thursday night in Buffalo, the rugged 32-year-old Bruins forward is out “indefinitely” with a concussion.

Claude Julien said Backes went through medical evaluation the past couple of days and that the post-concussion symptoms were severe enough that he’s been instructed not to watch television or look at telephone screens.

“I haven’t talked to him in two days. I talked to him after the game when he was on the plane. I haven’t because he’s been told to stay home,” said Julien. Backes has had at least one concussion in his previous years with the St. Louis Blues and perhaps more than that given his hard-hitting, physical style of play. “He’s been told to stay away from TV’s and even texting, he shouldn’t be receiving or texting. All I know is that he’s seen the doctors and I’m not quite sure whether he’s getting on the right track now, or if he’s still the same as he was two days ago.”

Carrier was penalized for an illegal check to the head following the play and the was further prevented for answering for his dangerous play when two linesmen stepped in between Carrier and Adam McQuaid on Thursday night. The Bruins replaced  Backes with Frank Vatrano on the right wing with Ryan Spooner and David Krejci. On Saturday, the 22-year-old Vatrano scored the game’s first goal just 1:28 into the first period to get things going for the Black and Gold in a 3-1 win over the Sabres. 

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Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

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Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.