Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 26: A view of the helmet of Kevan Miller #86 of the Boston Bruins during the first period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden on January 26, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Bruins are hoping to get top-six winger Craig Smith back in action for Thursday’s Game 3 at Nassau Coliseum. But the Bruins will remain without defenseman Kevan Miller for the fourth straight contest, as Miller remains “not ready” to return, according to B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Injured in Boston’s Game 4 win over the Capitals on a high hit from the Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov, Miller spent the night of Game 4 in the hospital and had remained off the ice until Wednesday’s skate prior to the start of practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

Miller’s absence will mean that the Boston defense will remain with a third pairing featuring Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton and with an all-hands-on-deck approach on the penalty kill, which has allowed three goals on 10 trips to the box during Miller’s absence (they went 14-for-17 on the penalty kill during Miller’s four games in action).

Cassidy seems to believe that the Bruins’ recent penalty-killing holes have more to do with positioning than personnel, however, as he noted that the Islanders have been doing what they can to get the B’s sticks out of position, and have tried to force looks down low more than going high. Cassidy also noted that this was an adjustment made by the Capitals as well.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller had nine hits, one blocked shot, and averaged 16:29 of time on ice in three games against the Islanders during the regular season.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 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.

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