Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 01: Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on May 01, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Bruins were unable to get through a 5-2 Game 1 win over the Islanders unscathed, as second-line winger Craig Smith was knocked out of action after two periods of play due to a lower-body injury.

The issue for Smith, who was dinged up multiple times in the second frame before exiting for the remainder of the night, appeared to come on a leg-on-leg check from the Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck.

“Obviously had to leave [the game], did not come back,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked for a Smith update after the victory. “We’ll reassess in the morning. Obviously, when you don’t come back, that’s the first red flag. But again, it’s early now, so we’ll see how he does in the morning. We’ll have a better update then.”

With Smith out of action for the final 20 minutes of action, the Bruins bumped Jake DeBrusk up to the right side of Boston’s second line with Taylor Hall and David Krejci.

The obvious hope from the B’s point of view is that Smith, who entered this series with a goal and two helpers in five games, will be fine after getting an early pull from this contest. But if Smith is to miss any time, the Bruins do have some notable reserves waiting in the wings, be it a bottom-six mucker like Trent Frederic or Karson Kuhlman.

Kuhlman may be the easy pick for Cassidy’s squad, all things considered, as he’s a natural right wing and has some experience playing with both David Krejci and Charlie Coyle. That alone would make his move to the middle-six an easier one than a potential move to Frederic, which would likely throw Sean Kuraly back into a third-line center role.

The B’s and Islanders will return to the ice for Game 2 on Monday night.

The Bruins are off to a strong start in their series against the New York Islanders, grabbing a 1-0 series lead on the strength of a dominant night for the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line. And it came on a thrilling night for Boston, as the city lifted all COVID-19 restrictions for the first time in over a year on Saturday. Matt Dolloff and Ty Anderson are here to discuss it all in a special Bruins postgame edition of the SideLines podcast.

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.