Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 3-0 win over the Wild in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis…
B’s can’t avoid injuries: Bruce Cassidy opted to rest five regulars in the B’s lineup on Thursday night, but the injury bug still managed to bite Boston in what was a mostly meaningless game — especially with Minnesota out of playoff contention and the Bruins already clinching home ice against Toronto in the playoffs. After logging the most time on ice of any Bruins player over the first stanza, Kevan Miller went down just 20 seconds into the second period — slamming his leg into the boards after fighting off Jordan Greenway while racing for a puck.
Kevan Miller goes into the boards and he's hurting.
Not good. pic.twitter.com/XoTPFY1dDV
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 5, 2019
Miller, who has been limited to just 39 games this season due to a number of injuries, managed to return late in the second period for a couple of shifts, but was not out on the ice for the third period. Thankfully, it appears that holding out Miller was just precautionary, per Cassidy following the 3-0 win. With just one regular season game left on the docket and with not much else to play for this week, any long-term injury for Miller would have been a brutal development — similar to how Boston lost Brandon Carlo in each of the last two seasons just ahead of the playoffs. While Boston has largely been able to soldier on without Miller for extended stretches this year, the B’s are already without John Moore, who is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. A player like Connor Clifton is a good fallback option, but a physical blueliner like Miller is a valuable piece during a grueling playoff run.
Boston piles on points without regulars: When you take out go-to skaters like Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Chris Wagner, you may just have to temper your expectations with what you’re going to get out of Game 81 of a long regular season.
Still, even with a number of mismatched lines, Boston continued to rack up the points following Thursday’s 3-0 win. Aside from losing Miller, there are plenty of positives to take away from the game, whether it be a strong showing from Jaroslav Halak in net, a return to form for Matt Grzelcyk or a solid debut from Zach Senyshyn.
An extra two points in the standings during the first week of April may not factor into the grand scheme of things, but Boston is slowly easing some of those pre-postseason jitters after dropping a pair of games last weekend in disheartening fashion.