BOSTON (CBS) — Craig Smith’s absence from the Bruins’ lineup on Monday night was evident in the 4-3 overtime loss. Fortunately for Boston, it appears as though it’ll be a brief absence.
The right winger was back on the ice for Bruins practice on Wednesday, as the Bruins gear up for Game 3 on Long Island on Thursday night.READ MORE: Yankees Beat Red Sox 8-3, Cut Lead To 1
Smith was skating in his usual spot, on the second line alongside David Krejci and Taylor Hall. He was not wearing a no-contact jersey, indicating he’s healthy enough to play.
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Great to see this – Craig Smith back on the ice today for the #NHLBruins – Coach Bruce Cassidy said this week that the extra day off in between Games 2 and 3 would help in getting Smith back. @wbz https://t.co/9dqEzdoP0L
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) June 2, 2021
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t commit to Smith being in the lineup for Game 3, but he indicated that the arrow is pointing in a positive direction.
“He looks a lot better. That’s a good development for us. We weren’t sure, to be honest with you. But he made it through the entire practice, did a little work early, so that’s a positive, obviously,” Cassidy said. “Tomorrow morning, let’s see if there’s any residual effect. If not, then I assume he’ll be in the lineup.”
Smith left Saturday night’s Game 1 win over the Islanders with a lower-body injury, which forced him to miss Game 2. Jake DeBrusk skated in his place on the second line, with Karson Kuhlman entering the lineup on the third line. Kuhlman registered a secondary assist on Charlie Coyle’s first-period goal, while DeBrusk didn’t make it onto the scoresheet. It was just the third time this postseason that neither Krejci nor Hall registered a point in a game.
The 31-year-old Smith proved to be a valuable addition for the Bruins this year, his first in Boston after a nine-year career with the Predators. He scored 13 goals — including four game-winners — and registered 19 assists in the regular season. He has a goal and two assists in six postseason games thus far.MORE NEWS: SportsLine Week 3 NFC East Picks: Eagles Will 'Keep It Close In A Division Matchup,' Says SportsLine's Larry Hartstein
Tuukka Rask, whose health status has been somewhat in question after making some laborious moves on the ice in Game 2, was also present and participating in practice on Wednesday.