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Johnny Boychuk says ‘everything is OK’ after once again sacrificing his body

03.15.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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He could laugh about it after the game but Johnny Boychuk knows full well he was very lucky to even be standing in his electric blue pinstripe suit after Boston’s 5-1 throttling of the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.

Midway through the third period, he lost an edge as Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer reached with his stick for the puck. Boychuk went careening feet first into the boards behind the Bruins net and lay prone on the ice for several minutes clutching his right leg.

Training staff came out and Boychuk immediately got to his feet and swatted away a helping arm so he could get on his skates and test his banged up right leg. He eventually conceded help, with teammate David Krejci helping him off the ice and down the tunnel. Just five minutes after going to the dressing room, Boychuk was back in front of goaltender Chad Johnson, blocking a shot with his skate on the same leg that had just suffered a nasty collision into the unforgiving corner boards.

“I’m a little sore,” Boychuk said with a painful grin. “I’m just glad everything’s OK.”

Indeed, Boychuk appeared to have escaped serious injury, as he had no walking boot on his right leg after the game and didn’t show any noticeable limp while walking. He did need about 30 extra minutes of treatment postgame before speaking to reporters.

Boychuk said he had x-rays on the leg but didn’t have the results immediately available.

As for what happened, on the play into the boards, Boychuk said it was just an unfortunate case of losing his balance.

“I was going for the puck,” Boychuk said. “I was looking left and right to see where my guys were and I went to [make a] hit and then all of a sudden, I’m going into the boards and just went feet-in kind of awkwardly, I guess.”

“I think the part is that we’€™re happy he’€™s not injured,” Julien said. “The way he went into the boards with both feet could have been a lot worse. So, kind of happy that he was able to come back and that shot on the foot is nothing compared to how hard he went into the boards, but you know what our team has always been made of those kind of players and guys that gut it out and certainly it helps our team get some, I guess, some energy, and some momentum at a certain point of the game where we needed it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Johnny Boychuk, NHL,

Jarome Iginla scores twice as Bruins win eighth straight

03.15.14 at 3:37 pm ET
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Jarome Iginla scored twice as the Bruins picked up their eighth straight win with a 5-1 victory over the Hurricanes Saturday at TD Garden.

For the third straight game, the B’s held their opponent without a goal in the first two periods, as Boston took a 2-0 lead into the third on goals from Milan Lucic and Iginla before a bouncing puck hopped over Chad Johnson‘s right leg for an Alexander Semin goal to get Carolina on the board.

The Bruins came away with the win despite a third-period injury scare to Johnny Boychuk, who crashed hard into the boards and did not put any pressure on his right leg after getting up. He returned shortly after, blocked a shot off the faceoff and went back off the ice but did continue to take shifts.

After the injury scare, Boston built on its lead with Chris Kelly‘s seventh goal of the year and a Iginla’s second of the day. The goals were scored 13 seconds apart. Torey Krug scored Boston’s fifth goal with 9.4 seconds left to play.

The Bruins will stay in Boston and host the Wild on Monday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Brad Marchand drew a pair of penalties, as he was tripped by Elias Lindholm in the first period and held by Ron Hainsey in the second. It’s a sign that you’re outskating the other team when they’re resorting to grabbing and using their stick to slow you down.

- David Krejci‘s pass — whether it was intended to be a pass or just a desperate attempt to move the puck forward — on Lucic’s goal was a thing of beauty, as he sent the puck right to Lucic on the doorstep as he was being taken down. The helper was part of a three-assist performance for Krejci.

- Chad Johnson turned in what’s become a typically dependable performance Saturday, and you couldn’t really blame Carolina’s lone goal on him. The puck deflected off the shaft of Boychuk’s stick, causing it to come at the net like a ground ball. As such, it unexpectedly bounced over Johnson’s left pad despite him being in position to make the save.

- The Bruins have wanted Dougie Hamilton to be more physical, and he’s been doing just that when he’s been in the lineup of late. The best example came in the third period Wednesday, when Hamilton delivered a crushing open-ice hit to Jeff Skinner in the defensive zone.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Despite not being hemmed in, the Bruins were pretty sloppy coming out of their own zone in the first period. Fortunately it didn’t hurt them, particularly when a Chris Kelly giveaway in 4-on-4 play led to an Alexander Semin opportunity that Johnson managed to stop.

Early in the second period, Dougie Hamilton fell down while skating the puck out.

- The B’s allowed their fifth breakaway in three games when Nathan Gerbe snuck by the defense late in the third period. Despite he uptick in breakaways for the opponent, none of them have gone in and the Bruins have allowed just one goal in each of the last three contests.

- Reilly Smith saw his goal-less streak extended to 15 games Saturday, but you can’t blame him for not trying. Smith was robbed by Ward in the second period when Ward came across the net to stop a snap shot taken at the right circle off a feed from Torey Krug.

- Patrice Bergeron had three penalties, as he went off for interference in both the first and second periods and took a hooking penalty at the end of the second. Three minor penalties is not a career-high for Bergeron, as he took three periods in the second period alone in a four-penalty night in Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. It was, however, his first regular-season game with three penalties.

Bruins pregame: Daniel Paille cleared for return, Chad Johnson starts in net

03.15.14 at 12:33 pm ET
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Bruins fans will welcome back Daniel Paille Saturday against Carolina. (AP)

Bruins fans will welcome back Daniel Paille Saturday against Carolina. (AP)

Winners of seven straight, the Bruins will welcome back one forward and another making his NHL debut. Bruins coach Claude Julien announced before Saturday’s game with Carolina that Daniel Paille, who has missed the last five games with concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to game action.

Asked if he will be available and will play, Julien was more coy with reporters pre-game.

“Could be,” Julien said with a smile. “Probably. You’ll have to make some deductions. right? I have to keep you guys on your toes. I’m too predictable.”

Chad Johnson will make his 18th start in net for the Bruins after Tuukka Rask started both games of the back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday in Montreal and home against Phoenix.

The other big story Saturday is the NHL debut of 23-year-old forward Matt Linblad, a Friday call-up from Providence.

“It’€™s pretty special,” Julien said. “I’€™m sure he’€™s dreamed of playing in the NHL, and exhibition games are one thing, and this is the real deal right now. But at the same time, I think he’€™s earned it. He’€™s played really well. I liked his training camp, I liked his, again, his hockey knowledge and his hockey IQ.

“Hockey sense is always an important part of any player at this level, and he has that. He’€™s a smart individual, so you put that with the good skater that he he is, and it makes for a pretty decent player. So we have high hopes for him and there’€™s an opportunity for him to show he’€™s gotten better over the course of the season.”

During pre-game warmups, Linblad was skating on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille, leaving Shawn Thornton as the odd man out.

Julien also announced that, after playing in three straight games, defenseman Andrej Meszaros would get the day off, giving Torey Krug more time on the blue line as well as the power play.

“There’€™s going to be some changes here as we go along, and I think [Meszaros] has played three straight games and we’€™ve continued to work with him,” Julien said. “So, we certainly don’€™t want to let our other players that have been here be pushed aside because of trades. So it’€™s just managing that whole back end.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Chad Johnson, Claude Julien, Daniel Paille

Matt Lindblad recalled, ‘more than likely’ to play for Bruins Saturday

03.14.14 at 1:41 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Matt Lindblad from Providence Friday and Claude Julien suggested he will play Saturday against the Hurricanes.

Julien said that the recall has nothing to do with players being injured, though with Daniel Paille expected to return to the lineup Saturday, a regular forward would have to come out of the lineup in order for Lindblad to play.

In 43 games for Providence this season, the Dartmouth College product has seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points and a minus-4 rating.

“He’s been playing well. He’s a guy we wanted to see,” Julien said. “It’s not related to any injuries more than [we want to] have a look at him too. We talk about playoffs around the corner and depth, well, right now we’ve got 13 forwards here. We’ve seen other guys come up, but we haven’t seen him.

“He’s been one of the guys that, to me, was impressive in training camp and is a good two-way player, skates well. We want to give him that opportunity to be seen as well. At one point, more than likely tomorrow, he may be in the lineup.”

Read More: Matt Lindblad,

Daniel Paille looks to return from concussion

03.14.14 at 1:32 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Daniel Paille took contact in Friday’s optional practice and hopes to return to the lineup from a concussion in time for Saturday’s game. He has yet to be cleared to play, but he said he feels no symptoms of a first-period hit from Ed Jovanovski that he took last Sunday.

Coach Claude Julien said that Paille was “looking good” in practice and that the team would make a decision later in the day Friday regarding whether he will play.

“I feel pretty good,” Paille said. “Actually, this whole week, I’ve just felt normal, felt the same. I didn’t necessarily feel any symptoms really, but it was more of the way it looked, being [cautious] and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I just kind of followed the [protocol] to make sure I was 100 percent. After a few days, there was nothing.”

This is Paille’s second concussion of the season, as he missed seven games in December with a head injury. He said this one wasn’t as bad though, and if he is back Saturday against the Hurricanes he will have only missed two games.

“This past one was probably like one I had in Buffalo, where I took a hit, my head hit the ice and I got dizzy,” the former Sabre said. “I remembered everything, and the process with having any other symptoms wasn’t there. The same thing happened with this one. Obviously I knew I couldn’t play, but I felt good enough to play if I had to.”

Paille added that he had no problem with taking the cautious approach at this time of year, given that his priority is to be in good health for the start of the playoffs next month.

Said Paille: “There’s still about a month left in the season and it’s a push for the playoffs, so there was really no reason to push it at that point.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Daniel Paille,

Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘really becoming a well-oiled machine’

03.14.14 at 1:24 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss how the Bruins are playing after the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

After defeating the Coyotes, 2-1, Thursday night, the Bruins are on a seven-game winning streak.

“They’€™re strong,” McGuire said. “They really are tight as a group. They haven’€™t messed with the integrity of their roster. Their defensive-zone posture’€™s getting better and better all the time. I think Andrej Meszaros is going to fill in well with Zdeno Chara. He’€™s going to help the power play as well.

“They’ve done a lot of things well there in Boston for a long period of time now, and when you watch them play you get the sense that this is a group that’s really becoming a well-oiled machine.”

During that span of time, Carl Soderberg has played at center while Chris Kelly has made the move to wing.

“The way Chris Kelly has been able to move over to wing rather than being center so Carl Soderberg, who is much more comfortable playing center, can play center — I think you’ve seen Soderberg really start to rise, and Kelly’€™s been a great trooper handling the assignment moving from center to wing,” McGuire said.

“People always want to talk about the young star, they don’€™t want to talk about the old guy that’€™s moved over to accommodate this, and obviously the extra ice helps Soderberg a lot, and not having to play on the boards helps him a lot, but Chris Kelly deserves a lot of credit for this. He really does. I think he’€™s done valiant work.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug sitting out: “I think there’s a lot that goes into it. I don’t think it’€™s about one person or two persons. … I think it’€™s about the way the team needs to play. One of the things you try to do too is keep your roster competitive at this time of year and have guys fighting for ice so that everybody stays fresh but everybody stays focused. I like the way the Bruins are handling things. Is it easy to watch Dougie Hamilton sit out back-to-back games? No, because I think Dougie’s starting to make significant progress in his career. Is it easy to see Krug sit out? No, it’s not. But, again, this is part of having a competitive, deep roster, and that’s one of the things I admire so much about the Bruins.”

Read More: Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug

Bruins beat Coyotes for seventh straight win

03.13.14 at 10:19 pm ET
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The Bruins won their seventh straight game and reclaimed first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday at TD Garden.

Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Zdeno Chara and Jarome Igina in the first period. The two teams then played a very quiet second period in which the Coyotes had two shots on goal and the Bruins had three.

For the second straight day, Tuukka Rask had a shutout broken up in the third period, as a Lauri Korpikoski tally at 8:14 of of the third got the Coyotes on the board.

Dougie Hamilton returned to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch for the previous two games. With Hamilton back in, the Bruins made Torey Krug a healthy scratch, marking the first time Krug has missed a game this season. Andrej Meszaros remained in the lineup, playing primarily on the left side for the first time since being acquired by the B’s last Wednesday.

The B’s will next play Saturday, when they host the Hurricanes at the Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Rask didn’t have much trouble handling both games of a back-to-back, as he followed Wednesday’s 35-save performance by blanking Phoenix Thursday.

One of Rask’s saves Thursday came on a breakaway in which Shane Doan got behind Zdeno Chara and Hamilton in the second period, making it the fourth breakaway he has faced and stopped (Tomas Plekanec missed the net Wednesday) in the last two days.

The closest call Rask encountered in the first period was due to some bad luck, as Rask made a blocker save in the first period and pushed the rebound off of Dougie Hamilton, causing the puck to bounce back to the net. Rask was able to reach back and sweep the puck out in time.

He also came up big as the Bruins killed off a third-period penalty to Carl Soderberg. Rask has now allowed just five goals over his last four starts.

- Chara has never had a 20-goal season in his career (he had 19 in 2008-09), but he’s got a pretty good shot at it this season. Thursday’s goal was the 16th of the season for Chara. The Bruins have 16 games remaining.

- Thursday’s win was Claude Julien‘s 300th as Bruins coach. He sits 61 wins away from Art Ross for the most in franchise history.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins had only three shots on goal in the second period, though they allowed only two to the Coyotes. That’s right: There were five total shots on goal in the second period. One of Phoenix’ second-period shots came on a Doan’s breakaway.

- Matt Bartkowski was assessed a boarding minor after an unnecessary shove from behind on Jeff Halpern in the second period. Bartkowski didn’t necessarily push him hard, but it was definitely enough to send Halpern into the boards head-first.

- The lack of power plays continues for the Bruins, as they had just one man advantage Thursday.

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