Forbort Returns to Practice As Full Participant in Florida

SUNRISE, Fla.Derek Forbort was a full participant in practice on Tuesday for the first time since suffering a broken finger when he blocked a shot in Pittsburgh on Nov. 1. The blue liner had been skating on his own for several days but joined the full group for the late- morning twirl at FLA Live Arena ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting with the Panthers.

“That was the plan all along,” Forbort said of traveling with the team for their brief two-game swing through the Sunshine State. “It was fun to get back out there with the guys today. I think [I’m] pretty on schedule. The finger feels good. Pretty much everything. My hands didn’t feel like they got any worse, which is hard to say. It’s good. Just trying to get the shooting back, that’s kind of the last step.”

Coach Jim Montgomery said that Forbort’s timeline of four to six weeks has not changed. The 30-year-old blue liner underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery on Nov. 3, putting him on track for an early-to mid-December return.

“There’s no updated timeline on him. He’s just starting to get a lot of skates in him because when the upper-body injury heals to where we like it, he’ll be in skating condition,” said Montgomery.

“When they told me four to six weeks, I was like, ‘What? How is that possible for just a finger?'” added Forbort. “It’s just the way the break was. It [stinks] but we’re getting back to it now.”

Forbort joked that a broken elevator at his building in Boston has helped to keep in prime shape during his three weeks away from game action.

“My elevator’s been broken so I’ve been carrying my dog [Darla] up the stairs four times a day, so conditioning should be fine,” Forbort quipped.

Video: Forbort talks with the media after practice in FLA

Foligno at the Front

Nick Foligno went right back to the well.

Despite taking a puck to the face at the net front during a power-play drill at Monday’s morning skate – which left him bloodied and requiring four to five stitches – he was right back in his spot on the second unit against the Lightning.

And the veteran forward appeared no worse for wear, as he potted the go-ahead goal while stretching out and diving for a loose puck at the top of the crease and whacking it by Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to put Boston up, 2-1, at 5:07 of the second.

“It’s unreal,” said Montgomery. “Another guy that’s been a captain in the league for a long time. You can see why. He’s really dedicated to the team, he loves and relishes his role where he helps us on the power play, helps us 5-on-5, helps our grind game, helps our puck possession game. It’s nice to see him get rewarded.”

Foligno was hardly hesitant to get back in front of the cage, despite the perils that he faced a few hours earlier.

“It’s a great time to have a beard. Thanks a lot [Hampus Lindholm],” Foligno joked as he recalled the shot from the blue liner that caught him under the chin. “It’s part of being in the net front. Sometimes you’re gonna take one. Not ideal in practice but it’s all good. It’s part of the job.”

Charlie Coyle followed Foligno’s goal just 31 seconds later with tally of his own from the doorstep – which was confirmed after a review – and got the Bruins back on track as they eventually struck for five consecutive goals after falling behind, 1-0, during a sleepy first period.

“I think it was an important goal at the time the way the first period took us,” said Foligno. “Big goal by [David Krejci] to come out of the period tied. But then we wanted to get to our game. We just didn’t have that jump that we needed to have in the first period and they came out and gave a push but I think that shows a lot of what we have in here to not get flustered by that either.

“Came out in the second and just took over. It was nice to be able to get that go-ahead and Coyle follows it up. That’s what happens with our team, we just come in waves. Good teams do that. It’s so hard to stop them. The momentum’s going that way. We just seem to jump on board and every line starts going. It’s dangerous.”

Video: [email protected]: Foligno pokes home a power-play goal

Frederic Sidelined

Trent Frederic did not skate during Tuesday’s practice after suffering an upper-body injury on Monday night against Tampa. The winger, who was cruising into the Tampa zone at a high rate of speed, crashed into the boards shoulder first after surging to the net front.

If Frederic, who is considered day-to-day, is unable to play Wednesday night against Florida, Craig Smith would sub back into the lineup.

“With the great depth we have, I’m leaning towards playing Smitty anyways,” said Montgomery. “We’ll see what he feels like [Wednesday]though.”

Smith has not played since Nov. 12 in Buffalo, a span of four games, and has only suited up for 10 of 19 contests this season.

“Him and I had breakfast together this morning,” said Montgomery. “He’s ready. He’s a pro. His attitude has been great. He’s extremely well liked by his teammates and he’s a big part of the culture we have there.”

Video: Montgomery talks with the media in Florida

Wait, There’s More

  • Montgomery has no concerns about the Bruins having a letdown on Wednesday in Florida after the high of Bergeron’s 1,000th point and a win over the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning. “We have great leaders,” said Montgomery. “It’s that simple. It’s such a luxury to not have to go in and warn the team about let’s not worry, let’s not get caught up, let’s not read our press clippings. Bergeron, Marchand, [David Pastrnak], [David] Krejci, [Charlie] McAvoy, it goes on and on, Foligno. There’s an army of leaders in there. I’ve always said this before. We have the best captain in sports in my opinion.”
  • Marchand, with a goal in Tampa and three assists on Saturday against Chicago, played his “two best 5-on-5 games” since returning from injury, according to Montgomery.

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