Less than a week after losing one key forward, the Boston Bruins now must get used to playing without an even more important one.
This game comes on the same day the Bruins (3-4-0) announced Savard would miss four to six weeks with a broken left foot. He’s led the team in scoring each of the past three seasons and was doing so again this season with four goals and three assists.
Savard didn’t miss a game in 2008-09, finishing with 25 goals and 63 assists.
The news of that injury follows the loss of the hard-nosed Lucic, who had surgery on his broken right index finger Sunday and will likely miss at least a month. The 21-year-old winger had 17 goals and 25 assists last season, his second in the NHL.
Even with Savard healthy, the Bruins were not off to a good start after finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2008-09.
They have alternated wins and losses, a trend it looks to temporarily continue following a 4-1 defeat at Phoenix on Saturday night. The effort was especially disheartening after the team had shown major signs of progress during a 3-0 win at Dallas the previous night.
“Friday night I thought we had a terrific, terrific game in all areas and it was disappointing to see Saturday,” general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Bruins’ official Web site. “Work is being done, and we are turning the corner a bit, but in large part (there are things) I don’t see, on a game to game basis. I don’t see the passion that I have seen before so we have to get that back.”
Boston is having problems in net and on the penalty kill.
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas(notes) blanked the Stars with 27 saves Friday but 24 hours later allowed at least four goals for the third time in his five starts. In that loss, the Coyotes went 2 for 4 on the power play as Bruins opponents improved to 10 for 33 (30.3 percent) with the man advantage.
Facing Nashville (2-4-1) could present a good opportunity to rebound, considering the Predators have totaled four goals while dropping their last five games.
Nashville is 1 for 24 on the power play, with the goal coming in the season opener Oct. 3. The team’s six-game drought without a power-play goal matches its longest since the final seven games of the 2002-03 season, when they went 0-5-1 with one tie.
Their offense could be further weakened by the absence of captain Jason Arnott(notes), their leading goal scorer both last season and early this fall. Arnott was placed on injured reserve Monday due to an arm problem.
Nashville rookie Colin Wilson(notes) hasn’t provided a boost leading up to his return to Boston. The first-round draft pick and former Boston University star - the top scorer on the Terriers’ national championship-winning team last season - has no points in his first four NHL games and his playing time decreased against the Capitals.
The Bruins hope a pair of youngsters will help their cause Wednesday after Vladimir Sobotka(notes) and Brad Marchand(notes) were recalled from Providence. Sobotka had 10 points and Marchand had six goals in six games for the minor-league club, but they’ll have different roles in Boston.
“It’s not about bringing somebody in that we think is going to help us score goals, it’s bringing some guys in that are going to help us to be a harder team to play against,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.