Rick Nash and Adam McQuaid became the latest Boston Bruins to join the injured list on Monday night.
Nash was a surprise scratch against the Columbus Blue Jackets due to an upper-body injury, while McQuaid left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.
“[Nash] got hit in Tampa, so we thought he was fine. He had an upper-body injury,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told NBC Boston. “This morning, pregame skate, we thought he’d be fine, and it turned out after pregame skate, early afternoon, he wasn’t. So, you know, we had to make a call for Anton Blidh.”
The Bruins entered Monday's 5-4 loss without Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy and David Backes. The injuries forced the team to start Blidh and move Ryan Donato, who was signed one day earlier, into a top-six role.
Donato picked up a goal and two assists in his NHL debut, while Blidh was held without a point in 10:23 of ice time.
Bergeron and Chara were both declared as day-to-day on Monday, but they will miss Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Blues. The timeline is less clear for DeBrusk and Backes, who suffered a leg laceration on Saturday night. McAvoy is out until at least April with an MCL sprain.
“You know, you call a player up [from the AHL], right? We signed one out of college; that helped," Cassidy said after Monday's loss. "So, that’s it. [The injuries] are uncontrollable to a certain extent. It’s kind of enough, now. I would agree. We’ve had our share, so let’s get these guys healthy and get ready to play. I don’t know. You’ve got to play the game in front of you and you just hope the string of, kind of, tough luck, is over.
“That’s it. It’s a physical game. We’ve said all along, to have successful seasons, both regular and playoffs, you need a certain level of health. That’s what we’re hoping, that these guys come back, and that’s it. Until then, we plug the holes and play the game in front of you.”
The Bruins (45-17-9) have 11 games remaining in their season and sit three points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Atlantic Division.