The Blackhawks and Bruins are both going into Tuesday's game with a lot on the line. The former is riding a seven-game winning streak and looking to gain ground in the Western Conference wild card race while the latter is on a seven-game point streak (4-0-3) and trying to keep pace with Toronto for the second seed in the Atlantic Division.
But the Bruins were dealt a tough blow on game day after it was announced leading scorer David Pastrnak underwent a procedure on his left thumb that will keep him out of the lineup for at least 2-3 weeks. The team revealed that Pastrnak and several of his teammates attended a sponsorship dinner on Sunday night, and at roughly 11:30 p.m., Pastrnak slipped while walking to his transportation and injured his thumb.
The good news for Boston is, Pastrnak's injury is not season-ending. The bad news is, the injury comes at a time where the Bruins are at the beginning of a stretch run trying to stave off the Canadiens, who are one point behind them in the standings.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney told the media that this doesn't change the team's approach ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline, but perhaps this speeds up the process of trying to acquire a top-six right winger, which has been an area they've been looking to address even before the injury.
Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 31 goals and 66 points, and had a two-point outing (one goal, one assist) in the 2019 Winter Classic against the Blackhawks on Jan. 1. Second-year forward Danton Heinen, who has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 52 games this season, is expected to take Pastrnak's spot on the top line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.