The Boston Bruins will get a chance to face one player from their Stanley Cup-winning team in their next game but won't have another on the ice to help them end an inconsistent start to their title defense.
The Bruins will try to keep Tomas Kaberle's Carolina Hurricanes winless Wednesday night while David Krejci remains home.
According to coach Claude Julien, Krejci suffered an injury to his "core area" during practice Tuesday and will sit out at least one game. The center, who had a team-best 12 goals and 23 points during the Cup run, will continue to be evaluated and his status for Saturday's game in Chicago will be determined later this week. He had one goal in the first three games this season.
"We can certainly eliminate the knee injury that has been speculated about," Julien said.
Tyler Seguin will move onto the first line between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton after notching three assists in the first three games, but the Bruins (1-2-0) could have used Krejci's help to spark their offense. They've scored five goals, with four coming in Saturday's victory over Tampa Bay - a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals. Two days later, they fell 1-0 to Colorado.
"We got outhustled by a team that was a lot hungrier then we were," Julien said.
In recent matchups, the Bruins have appeared hungrier than the Hurricanes, winning 11 of 13 and three in a row at the RBC Center. Carolina (0-2-1), though, claimed a seven-game playoff series in 2009.
"We're going to probably see their best tomorrow. They're still looking for their first win so they'll be a very desperate team," Julien said. "Hopefully we're a desperate team that wants to play better than we did in the last game."
This matchup will be Boston's first chance to see Kaberle, who signed a three-year free agent deal worth $12.75 million in July. The defenseman had 11 assists during last season's playoffs after being acquired in a trade with Toronto on Feb. 18.
Kaberle has no points and a minus-3 rating in his first three games for Carolina, and the Hurricanes have been outscored 13-6 in their worst start since going 0-3-1 to open 2006-07. They gave up a pair of third-period goals during a 4-2 loss in New Jersey on Monday.
"We're three games in now and you want to get that win as soon as you can," said Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. "We've played decently in the last two games, but we just haven't found one in the win column."
The Bruins enter this game after signing Rich Peverley to a three-year contract extension Tuesday. The 29-year-old center, who had two goals in the win over Tampa Bay, had four in the regular season after being acquired from Atlanta on Feb. 18, and added four goals and eight assists in postseason.
"It's nice to get it done," Peverley said. "This is the place I want to be and there's a lot of good people in this organization."
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara recorded his first career hat trick against Carolina on Jan. 17, then had a combined three assists during consecutive 3-2 wins in Raleigh.
Chara's new teammate, Joe Corvo, will be making his return to North Carolina after playing all 82 games for the Hurricanes last season. He was the team's top-scoring defenseman with 40 points.