The Boston Bruins will have a pair of game-time decisions for Saturday’s matinee with the Sabres, as both winger Chris Wagner and defenseman Mike Reilly were held out of Friday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“Both had a maintenance day,” Cassidy said of the absences. “Reilly was dealing with an injury that’s a little bit nagging that he had to get looked at, but I suspect he’ll play [Saturday]. Wagner, probably not, but we’ll make that decision in the morning.”
Acquired from the Senators last month, the 27-year-old Reilly has totaled four helpers and a plus-6 rating in 10 games with Boston, and has averaged a heavy 21:17 of time on ice per contest. Reilly has been a fit with every right-shot defender the Bruins have paired him with, too, and the goal is most certainly to keep him upright down the stretch.
Based on Friday’s practice, a Reilly absence would likely set the Bruins up for a potential Jarred Tinordi-Connor Clifton pairing, with Jakub Zboril also in the mix as a potential option for Cassidy’s squad.
One defenseman the Bruins have ruled out for Saturday: Brandon Carlo. Out of action for all but two games since Mar. 5, the 6-foot-5 Carlo practiced in full Friday, but is still looking at next week as a targeted return date.
“We’re looking at Jersey,” Cassidy noted, referencing next week’s Monday-Tuesday stretch against the Devils. “Which game, I don’t know. My guess is the trainers will not want to play him in back-to-backs to start.”
“Right now, I’m feeling very good,” Carlo, who noted that this recent injury has been related to his oblique, said. “Obviously it’s been a process with injuries for the past little bit here.”
As it relates to Wagner, Friday’s practice went on with Karson Kuhlman in Wagner’s spot with Curtis Lazar and Trent Frederic on the Black and Gold’s fourth line. Kuhlman has not appeared in a game since the team’s 8-1 beatdown from the Capitals prior to the trade deadline, and has totaled two goals and 23 shots on goal in 15 games this season.
The Bruins enter Saturday’s contest with wins in two straight, and victories in six of seven meetings with the Sabres in 2021.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.