- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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MONTREAL -- After missing practice earlier this week due to a minor lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug should be in the lineup Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
After the team’s morning skate Thursday, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Krug will be a game-time decision.
“He looked pretty good there this morning, and it will be game-time, but I would be extremely surprised if he doesn’t play,” Julien said.
Krug blocked a shot during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and skated gingerly off the ice, but he was able to return. He did not practice during Monday’s optional session or on Tuesday. He returned to practice Wednesday.
“Yeah, I’m good. Just maintenance,” Krug said after the Thursday morning skate. “It was perfect timing to have a couple of days off to re-energize and get that maintenance.”
Krug was wearing protective guards on both his skates Thursday and said he’s considering wearing them in the game for extra protection.
“The reason I’m here is because Andrew Ference took a shot off the foot,” Krug said, referring to the former Bruins defenseman, whose injury in the first round of the 2013 playoffs forced the team to call up Krug from Providence.
During that playoff series against the Rangers, Krug proved he could play and be effective at this level. This season, he has experienced some growing pains with his defensive game, but offensively he continues to contribute. He has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points, including a plus-5 in 27 games.
"There have been highs and lows,” he said. “It’s constant reminders that I could go out and make a mistake at any time. I’m confident in what I’m able to do. The coaching staff and my teammates are always in my ear, making sure to remind me of the little things you do to make sure you’re an NHL [caliber] defenseman every night.”
Krug played a preseason game at Bell Centre, but this will be his first regular-season game here.
"I don’t know what to expect tonight,” he said. “Even in preseason it was pretty special skating out there in front of their fans, and it’s a fun building to play in. I played against Montreal in our building last year, and the speed of that game was very similar to a playoff game, so I would assume it will be the same thing tonight. It’s going to be fun.”
6dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald