The Boston Bruins dropped a game time bomb on Thursday night, announcing that star forward David Pastrnak had been deemed “unfit to participate” and would miss Game Two. There is no official word on Pastrnak’s condition and whether he will miss any future games with this current ailment. It could be that the Rocket Richard winner simply could not bounce back from a minor injury sustained on Wednesday in just over 24 hours’ time. Pastrnak did appear to be in discomfort following his assist on the game-winning goal in double overtime of Game Two. However, others have noted that Pastrnak also missed practice on Monday and could be nursing a lingering issue. The Bruins certainly do not want their elite scorer to be out of the lineup for too long, so any further clarification on Pastrnak’s injury will be key to Boston’s Stanley Cup hopes this postseason. In the meantime, Anders Bjork has replaced Pastrnak on the team’s top line while Karson Kuhlman has been inserted into the lineup.
- The Washington Capitals will also be missing one of their stars for Game Two on Friday. First line center Nicklas Backstrom has entered the league’s concussion protocol, reportscom’s Tom Gulitti, and will not be able to return to the lineup just yet. Backstrom was the recipient of high hit from the New York Islanders’ Anders Lee, which cost him two penalty minutes, early in the first period of the Capitals’ Game One loss on Tuesday. Backstrom played through the period but did not return after the break. There is no word on how long Backstrom may be out of the lineup. While Backstrom is certainly a major loss, his absence fortunately lines up with a return for fellow center Lars Eller, who had left the Toronto bubble due to the birth of his son and missed Game One.
- Veini Vehvilainen has arrived in Toronto to join the Columbus Blue Jackets as their No. 3 goalie, with Elvis Merzlikins still nursing an injury. The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger notes that Vehvilainen has already officially joined the roster after landing Wednesday, while adding that he will not count against the 31-man maximum bubble roster limit as goalie injuries allow for an exception to be made. In the unlikely event that Vehvilainen has to make an appearance for Columbus, it would be his NHL debut. The well-regarded Finnish product finally made the jump to North America this season, but played exclusively in the AHL.