WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There continues to be progress in David Krejci's return from offseason hip surgery and a slight chance he could still be ready for the Boston Bruins' season-opener against Washington Oct. 1.
Krejci, who has yet to play in a preseason game, went through another round of full-contact drills at Ristuccia Arena this afternoon with the group of players not competing in tonight's exhibition game at Columbus. The center said he's been going full-tilt for four or five days and feels improvement.
"It's been better. There's going to be a little pain, even when I'll be playing. It's about to be 100 percent and I'm getting there. I don't know where. But it's good so far," the Bruins' second-leading scorer from last season told ESPNBoston.com.
When training camp first opened nine days ago, Krejci said he felt the most pain when he'd cross over to his right side. That is the area that has improved enough for him to think he's close to playing. However, he doubts that he'll be able to play in any of the Bruins' final preseason games this weekend.
As for Oct. 1 at TD Garden, Krejci said that playing in a preseason game is not a prerequisite for battling the Caps.
"I have to start somewhere. If I'm ready I want to play," he said.
A start for Sabourin Dany Sabourin will make his second exhibition start tonight in Columbus and he's scheduled to play the whole game. In his previous start, he allowed two goals on 27 shots. With Tuukka Rask compiling a .967 save percentage in two appearances, the rookie seems to have the edge for the No. 2 goaltender spot. But head coach Claude Julien isn't ready to publicly anoint Rask.
"Tuukka's played two excellent games. So has Sabourin, he played one real good game in Toronto. And he gets a chance to play tonight," said the coach. "We'll probably get closer to that decision after tonight."
Julien later added that the final decision would probably not be made until the Bruins finish up their preseason scheduled with three games in three nights Thursday through Saturday.
Here are the forward lines and defense pairs that skated this morning in preparation for tonight's game in Columbus.
Some family bonding Mike Stuart, the older brother of Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart, is in Providence's camp, which opened yesterday. The younger Stuart said he's hoping things work out for Mike with the Boston farm club because the proximity of the teams would allow him to see his brother, who has been overseas the last two years, more often.
According to the Providence Journal, there are a number of other players in P-Bruins camp with local ties, including Holyoke, Mass., native Adam Pineault and former Boston University standouts Jason Lawrence and Brian McGuirk.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. He has been on the Bruins beat since the lockout for numerous publications and has been covering the Boston sports scene for a decade. Send any questions for Matt to his mailbag and he might answer them in his Bruins mailbag.