Bruins’ Krug done for series with ankle injury

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This is not good news for the Boston Bruins ahead of Sunday’s Game 5 in Tampa Bay.

Not only will they be facing elimination and a 3-1 series deficit against the Lightning, but they will have to try and keep their season alive for another game without the services of one of their top defenseman, Torey Krug.

Krug exited Friday’s Game 4 with an apparent ankle injury midway through the third period. He did not return and did not play in overtime where the Lightning went on to win, 4-3, thanks to a Dan Girardi goal.

On Saturday, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Krug did not make the trip to Tampa Bay with the team and that he will not be available for the game.

Later in the day, the Bruins broke more bad news regarding Krug.

Per the Bruins’ team website:

Boston Bruins Head Team Physician Dr. Peter Asnis issued the following update on defenseman Torey Krug:

Torey Krug injured his left ankle during Game 4 of the second round playoff series on Friday, May 4. He will not be available for the remainder of this series as he undergoes additional testing to determine the full extent of the injury. Further information will be made available after all testing is complete.

Nick Holden, acquired in a pre-deadline trade from the New York Rangers, will play in Krug’s spot.

“He did a good job for us when he went in,” Cassidy told NHL.com on Saturday. “We’re going to miss Torey, obviously. He’s a good player for us and really adds to our offensive side of things, but Nick’s done a good job so in he’ll go.”

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

The 30-year-old Holden has only played in one game this postseason, logging 12 minutes of ice-time and recording an assist in the a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of their first-round series.

The Bruins are already playing without defenseman Brandon Carlo who has been sidelined since the end of March with an ankle injury.

Krug’s absence is going to be significant because he is such a big part of the team’s offense. He finished the 2017-18 season as the team’s fourth-leading scorer with 59 points (14 goals, 45 assists) in 76 games. He was also — by a pretty wide margin — the team’s leading scorer among defensemen.

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NHL tells Marchand to stop licking opponents

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.