Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy did not practice Friday and is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Coyotes. Matt Slocum/Associated Press

A day after leaving the Bruins’ loss to the Buffalo Sabres because of an injury early in the third period, Charlie McAvoy was not on the ice at practice Friday before Saturday’s game against Arizona.

Coach Jim Montgomery said McAvoy has an upper-body injury, but not to his head. He has not been ruled out for Saturday.

McAvoy, the Bruins’ leader in minutes played and an alternate captain, landed awkwardly after a hit by JJ Peterka in front of the Boston bench less than two minutes into the third period of Boston’s 3-1 loss.

He got up gingerly, went to the locker room and did not return. McAvoy played 15 minutes, 53 seconds before the injury, which came just hours after the Bruins put Derek Forbort on long-term injured reserve.

Ian Mitchell replaced McAvoy at practice on Friday.

“He’s our rock back there. He’s such a dominant player. He does so much of the breakout, offensively, with his physical presence,” Brad Marchand said. “You lose a guy like him, you can’t replace him. Hopefully, he’ll be back (at practice) tomorrow, feeling better. I don’t know how that will play out. It definitely hurts our team when he’s not in the lineup.”


MONTGOMERY SAID rookie Matt Poitras’ absence from the lineup Thursday was part of a calculated plan.

Poitras wasn’t benched as much as he was rested, according to Montgomery, who said the Bruins are trying to manage the 19-year-old’s workload.

“It’s something we’ve been discussing. We’re trying to put him in situations to have a lot of success,” Montgomery said. “He’ll be back in the lineup on Saturday. This is an opportunity for him to build some strength and some rest into his program.

“It’s a grind. It’s a tough league. This is the way we think he can help the Bruins the most and help his game the most,” Montgomery continued. “This has been in the works for a little while as we finish nine games in 16 days.”

Montgomery said he didn’t think Poitras had hit a wall.

“In the hardest league, he’s playing really well for us,” said Montgomery. “We’re trying to put him in situations where he has more juice.”


Through 24 games, Poitras has five goals and six assists, and his 11 points are seventh on the Bruins. But he has just two points in his last six games and has struggled all season on faceoffs.

TRADE: The New York Islanders acquired Robert Bortuzzo from the St. Louis Blues, giving the Eastern Conference playoff contenders some much-needed size and depth on the blue line amid injuries.

The Islanders sent a seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft to the Blues for the veteran defenseman, who has played just four games this season while mostly sitting out as a healthy scratch.

The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Bortuzzo, 34, had been with the Blues since 2015. He started his NHL career with the Penguins in 2011.

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