Injured McQuaid to miss Saturday's game

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Injured McQuaid to miss Saturday's game

CHICAGO Adam McQuaid, suffering from headaches after banging his head against the boards in Carolina during Wednesday nights loss, will miss his second game of the season Saturday night when the Bruins face the Blackhawks.

Coach Claude Julien said McQuaid's problem was more of a neck injury than a concussion, but the Bruins were going to treat it as a concussion given the symptoms being exhibited by the 24-year-old defenseman. Julien also said the injury was similar to the neck injury suffered by McQuaid during last years playoff series against the Flyers, which knocked him out of the final two games of that postseason series.In that instance McQuaid was looking to finish a hit on Mike Richards behind the Boston net, and instead tumbled head-first into the boards when Richards side-stepped the B's defenseman.

Hes still suffering some headaches," said Julien. "Right now its a neck pain, so its really hard to diagnosis whats going on. We dont know if its definitely a concussion or a neck straight suffered during the fall.

Hes still day-to-day taking the cautious route, and treating it like it was a concussion. Hes feeling better every day and if it is a concussion then its probably a mild one. But were treating it cautiously.

With McQuaid on the shelf, Matt Bartkowski will be getting another chance to fill in as the sixth defenseman. Bartkowski played 8:22 against the Flyers on opening night as the Bruins went largely with a five-man defense rotation, and that may be the way things play out again at the United Center.

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont debate if it is time for the Bruins to send a message to Tuukka Rask and have Anton Khudobin get the starts in net.

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.