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Bruins will get Kevan Miller back versus Wings – Boston Herald

For all the injuries the Bruins have suffered, and the big losses on the current road trip alone, they’ll actually get a reinforcement tonight.

Defenseman Kevan Miller will skate for the first time since injuring his hand against Edmonton, and it comes at a time when the Bruins need bodies in the lineup.

“Very excited,” he said. “It’s been a long four and a half weeks watching the guys play. They’ve done a good job, and I’m just glad to be back to contribute.”

Zdeno Chara will miss at least the next four weeks and Charlie McAvoy has only begun skating with the team for the first time on Tuesday. Urho Vaakanainen joined the group as well, but John Moore was sent back to Boston following the Colorado game.

Two rookies made their NHL debuts over the course of the trip, and Jeremy Lauzon has still played less than 10 NHL games.

The losses of Chara and Patrice Bergeron in the forward corps puts more of a damper on a tough stretch the Bruins are in the midst of, but Miller’s return is at least a positive.

“We have a lot of guys injured. We’ve had a lot of guys injured,” said Miller. “It’s part of the game, but at the same time, you can view it as a negative thing or you can view it as a team building thing to rally around the guys who are playing.”

Miller was paired with Matt Grzelcyk on the B’s top pairing on Tuesday with Torey Krug skating with rookie Connor Clifton and Steven Kampfer matched up with Lauzon.

It’s not the six defensemen they expected in the lineup when they broke camp, but Miller’s return will add fresh legs and experience.

“The guys who are injured support the guys playing the best they can,” he said. “Usually there’s a learning experience and can hopefully turn it into a positive.”

A welcome presence

It might still be a while before McAvoy and Vaakanainen skate again in a game, but their presence back with the full group yesterday was a welcome sight.

“I didn’t watch much, to be honest. They’re a ways away,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “Their first step was getting integrated into practice. Hopefully there’s no setbacks tomorrow and they keep skating and we see where it leads.”

The more bodies the Bruins can get back in the lineup, the better, but it’s McAvoy’s call when he’s feeling healthy again after dealing with concussion symptoms.

With Chara out at least until the tailend of December — if they’re lucky — the sooner he gets back in, the sooner the Bruins will get a much needed defensive boost.

“I worry about the guys on the ice and who’s playing right now,” said Cassidy. “I want him to progress, he’s a big part of the team. But how he feels is his call. It’s been that all along. We waited it out to see when he’s ready to go. He looked good, he’s in good spirits, it looks like he was skating well.”

Twitter: @Marisa_Ingemi

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