The Boston Bruins, fighting to hold on to a Stanley Cup playoff spot, will be without top-line center David Krejci for four to six weeks due to a partially torn MCL in his left knee, general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday night.
Krejci, who missed 20 games earlier this season with a groin injury, said Tuesday he is determined to return before the regular season ends April 11.
"I'm kind of relieved that I know that I'll be back before the season is over," Krejci said. "I'll be doing everything I can every day to come back as fast as I can.
"Once I come back, I don't want to be the weak link. It's all up to me how hard I'm going to work to get back."
The Bruins, who snapped a six-game losing streak Sunday with a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, have a three-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Boston already had been in the market for a point-producing forward ahead of Monday's trade deadline, but Krejci's injury makes Chiarelli's job more difficult.
One option that could provide more flexibility for the Bruins at the trade deadline would be to place Krejci on long-term injured reserve, which would make him ineligible to return until the playoffs.
"This question is for management, but no, I don't want to sit out. I want to play, obviously," Krejci said. "If there's only a little chance I can play, I would like to play.
"Management has to do whatever they feel is right for the team and get our team into the playoffs. It's not an easy decision for them, but [Chiarelli's] been making good decisions since I've been here, so I'm pretty sure he's going to make the right one again."