Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 06: Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with Craig Smith #12 after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the first period of the preseason game at TD Garden on October 06, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Bruins are just two games into their season, but are already dealing with a potential right wing shortage, with Bruce Cassidy’s squad set to be down as many as two middle-six wingers Friday night in Buffalo.

Nick Foligno, injured in the second period of Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Flyers, has already been ruled out.

“He’s out tomorrow,” Cassidy confirmed. “[When] we get back to Boston, he’ll get re-evaluated. We’ll put him as day-to-day for now until we get an update. Probably by Saturday I guess he’ll see [doctors], so we’ll know by Sunday. But I suspect he’ll miss Sunday as well, but we know for sure he’s out tomorrow.”

But Thursday’s practice in Buffalo also came with second-ling winger Craig Smith held off the ice ahead of the Friday night showdown at KeyBank Center.

“Smith had a maintenance day more than anything,” Cassidy, who plays both Foligno and Smith on his second power-play unit, said. “Little minor thing, so we decided to hold him off. Should be good to go tomorrow.”

Assuming Foligno is the only absence Friday, the most likely move for the Bruins will be to keep Karson Kuhlman with Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula on the third line.

That would create an opening on Boston’s fourth line, with the current plan looking like moving center Tomas Nosek to right wing, left winger Trent Frederic to center, and throwing 13th forward Anton Blidh into action for his first game of the season.

If Smith joins Foligno on the shelf, however, the Bruins will find themselves down to 11 available forwards. And though Friday’s practice came with defenseman Connor Clifton playing wing on Boston’s fourth line, it’s hard to imagine the Bruins going with that as a legitimate option when they have options available in Providence.

This will be one of four head-to-heads between the Bruins and Sabres this season. Boston went 7-1-0 against the Sabres last year, and have captured victories in 13 of their last 15 road meetings in Buffalo.

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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.