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Johnny Boychuk no longer ‘foggy,’ ready to go for Game 6 05.24.11 at 5:10 pm ET
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TAMPA — On Tuesday Bruins coach Claude Julien used the same word as he did Monday — “fine” — to describe defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who left Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals a little over halfway through the third period after hit from Tampa Bay forward Steve Downie.

“Nothing has changed,” Julien said. “He’s fine.”

Boychuk himself said that he will play in Wednesday’s Game 6 and that despite feeling a bit woozy following the hit that earned Downie a boarding penalty, he knew that he was OK.

“I was a little foggy, but then after I got off the ice, I felt totally fine,” Boychuk said Tuesday. “Even when I was on the ice, they just wanted to make sure I was OK before I even tried to skate. I didn’t really want to fall.”

Boychuk said that the hit caught him by surprise, and though he noted players in his position have “got to be aware of their surroundings,” not knowing Downie was coming didn’t help matters.

“I didn’t see him’€¦ obviously,” Boychuk said. “I didn’t see him coming. You can’t really brace yourself if you can’t see him.”

Downie was not disciplined by the league for the hit, and Boychuk took a respectable approach when asked his feelings on it.

“I saw the hit,” he said. “If it’s suspendable, then the league will do it, but I’m feeling fine and that’s the main thing.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Johnny Boychuk, Steve Downie
Report: Steve Downie won’t be disciplined for Game 5 hit at 12:10 pm ET
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Lightning forward Steve Downie will not be suspended for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, according to a tweet by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Halfway through the third period of the Bruins’ 3-1 win in Game 5 Monday, Downie slammed Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the back, receiving  a boarding call for the hit. Boychuk was shaken up and didn’t return to the game, although Bruins coach Claude Julien later acknowledged that the blue-liner was “fine.”

Downie has 40 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games in 2011 and had already received a one-game suspension in these playoffs for leaving his feet on a hit  on in the conference quarterfinals against the Penguins.

Read More: Johnny Boychuk, Steve Downie,
Claude Julien says Johnny Boychuk is ‘fine’ at 3:53 am ET
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The Bruins got a bit of a scare in the third period of their 3-1 vicctory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals when Lightning forward Steve Downie took a run at B’s defenseman Johnny Boychuk and sent Boychuk down the tunnel and out of the game. Downie went off for boarding, and though Boychuk didn’t take another shift, the encouraging news was that he made his way back to the bench for the end of the contest. Coach Claude Julien said he did not see the hit, but that the defenseman is OK.

“Johnny is fine,” Julien said. “I haven’€™t had an opportunity to look at it. I haven’€™t watched the video yet. I know some people have, but from what I hear it’€™s not a great hit. I’€™ll maybe save my comments more for after I see it.”

Boychuk logged 16:09 of ice time before leaving after the play, which occured at 10:54 of the third.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Johnny Boychuk, Steve Downie,
Bruins ready for a matinee 05.21.11 at 11:55 am ET
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TAMPA — The last time the Bruins played a day game, they took a 7-3 contest in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the first step of sweeping the Flyers. They will have their earliest start of the postseason with Saturday’s 1:30 Game 4 vs. the Lightning.

“I think we’re glad to get an earlier game,” forward Daniel Paille said Saturday at St. Pete Times Forum. “We’ve played the late games, so we’re happy to get the game started. I know we’re all anxious. We just want to play, and to get our afternoon games again is great to see.”

The Bruins have won eight of their last nine games and are hoping that nothing can disrupt their run. They don’t feel a matinee should be an issue.

“You’ve just got to make sure you go out there for the warmup and get your legs underneath you,” defenseman Johnny Boychuk said. “That’s more or less what it’s all about.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk,
Bruins-Lightning Game 3 preview 05.19.11 at 2:10 am ET
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TAMPA ‘€“ The Bruins can pick up their third straight road win and first series lead of the Eastern Conference finals with a Game 3 win Thursday at St. Pete Times Forum. The B’s might have momentum on their side, as they took a high-scoring contest Tuesday in defeating Tampa, 6-5. With the number three in mind, here’€™s a preview of Thursday’s game:

Three things the Bruins need to do:

- Keep Ryding the hot duo: Whether or not Patrice Bergeron returns to the lineup, any shakeup should not include a separation of Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder. The two have totaled five goals thus far in the series, and their chemistry is evident. The Lightning will try to be more physical to knock the rookie off his game, but Seguin simply needs to show that these games have given him more confidence. Expect him to stay with Ryder and Chris Kelly in Game 3.

- Extend the power play success: Who said this team stunk on the man advantage? Two goals in Game 2 (one of which came with one second remaining after the team failed to score on a 5-on-3) matched their postseason production on the power play entering the night, and there are certainly encouraging nights. Tomas Kaberle played better on the man advantage Tuesday, while Seguin was finally given the opportunity to contribute on special teams and did.

- Tighten it up: As much as Bruins fans can get on board with watching Tim Thomas come up big on multiple breakaway bids, the B’€™s would just rather they not happen at all. The Bruins could have had a much better defensive effort on Tuesday, and correcting it will lower the number of quality opportunities for the Lightning.

Three crazy stats:

- By scoring three goals on Dwayne Roloson Tuesday, the Bruins bumped the Lightning netminder out of the top spot in postseason goals against average and save percentage. The leader in both those categories now? Carey Price, who posted a 2.11 GAA and .934 in the first round against the B’€™s.

- The Bruins are 0-2 in games this postseason in which Nathan Horton fails to register a shot on goal. They’€™re 9-2 when he has at least one. Horton leads the B’€™s with 13 points, and his 34 shots on goal are second to Bergeron among forwards.

- Only two Bruins players have a minus-3 rating over the last three games. Those two players would be Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Think they’€™d like to get Bergeron back?

Three key players:

- Patrice Bergeron: As fun as the Seguin Show was to watch on Tuesday, the Bruins aren’€™t kidding themselves here. They need Bergeron back, and after taking contact he could return to the lineup for one of the games in Tampa. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

- Dwayne Roloson: The Tampa goaltender was not as bad as the numbers were on Tuesday, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to being chased for the first time this postseason.

- Johnny Boychuk: The 27-year-old has goals in two of his last three games, but he was positively wretched in Game 2. Boychuk’€™s sloppiness resulted in a minus-3 rating that would have been worse had the puck he accidentally banked off the skate of Kaberle in front of the net gone in. He ended up playing only 16:06, his lowest time on ice total this postseason.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chris Kelly, Dwayne Roloson, Johnny Boychuk
Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but it awaits: Bruins sweep Flyers 05.06.11 at 10:42 pm ET
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By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin

The Bruins finished off the Flyers with a 5-1 win, sweeping the Eastern Conference semifinals in four games and advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 1992. The Bruins will next face the Lightning, who also swept their semifinals series vs. the Capitals.

Johnny Boychuk sent a blast from the point over the glove of Sergei Bobrovsky at 2:42 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. It was Boychuk’s second goal of the playoffs, both of which have come in series-clinching games this postseason.

Milan Lucic had two goals for Boston in the win. With Daniel Carcillo in the box for cross-checking, Lucic put the Bruins on the board at 12:02, scoring his first goal of the playoffs and giving Boston its first 5-on-4 goal this postseason. The Flyers would apply minimal pressure throughout the rest of the first period, but got on the board thanks to a goal from deadline acquisition Kris Versteeg. Lucic added his second of the night on a breakaway in the third period. Brad Marchand and Daniel Paille added empty netters.

Tim Thomas made 22 saves in the winning effort. It was the second straight game in which he allowed just one goal.

The Bruins will host the Lightning in Games 1 of 2 of the conference finals. The schedule of the series is currently unknown, though it may depend on when the Western Conference finals are set. San Jose and Vancouver hold 3-1 series leads over the Red Wings and Predators, respectively.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Lucic finally broke out of what was statistically a postseason-long scoring slump by picking up his first goal since March 22. He had played much better in this series than in a pedestrian first-round vs. the Canadiens, so it was fitting that he be rewarded with a big goal on the score sheet before the second round was over. Going forward, the B’s will need more like that from their 30-goal-scorer.

- The Bruins could let out the smallest of sighs of relief after their 5-on-3 goal in Game 3, but getting their first 5-on-4 goal didn’t come until Lucic killed two birds with one stone. Nathan Horton hit Lucic with a pass on the doorstep to end the 5-on-4 drought and give Boston its second power play goal in the last two games (and of the playoffs).

- The Flyers turned up the pressure once the Bruins took a 2-1 lead, but the B’s responded to the challenge by getting in shooting lanes and preventing Philly from getting pucks to the front of the net. The Flyers tried to get shots from the point with traffic in front, but the Boston forwards did an excellent job of getting right on top of the Philly defensemen and not giving them anything to shoot at. Chris Kelly led the effort with with three blocks.

- Another game vs. Philadelphia, another point for David Krejci. Boston’s first-line center has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) over his last 13 games vs. Philadelphia. Krejci picked up a helper on Lucic’s first-period goal.

- The Bruins drew three penalties in the first by just moving their feet and attacking on offense. James van Riemsdyk went off for a hook when he couldn’t catch up to Lucic, who was driving hard to the net in search of a centering pass. Then Gregory Campbell forced his way to the front of the net from below the goal line and drew a cross check on Daniel Carcillo. A few minutes later, Claude Giroux went to the box for a trip after Tomas Kaberle cut inside him on an aggressive entry into the offensive zone. The power play resulting from Carcillo’s infraction ended with the Bruins’ second power-play goal in as many games.

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WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The B’s had an injury scare for just one of th least guys they could stand to lose. A hit from Claude Giroux in the third period sent Patrice Bergeron downb the tunnel for the B’s, and he would not return to the game. Bergeron leads the Bruins with 12 points this postseason.

- Bad turnover by Brad Marchand in the Flyers’ zone to create a 2-on-0 for the Flyers, and it cost the B’s. Kris Versteeg beat Tim Thomas for his first goal of the playoffs. Versteeg was once property of the B’s, but was traded for Brandon Bochenski in 2007.

-The Bruins obviously want and need Zdeno Chara to be physical, but with eight seconds left in the first, he took it a little too far. When Scott Hartnell took exception to Chara trying to clear out the front of the Boston net, Chara responded by dropping his gloves and then dropping Hartnell with one punch. Unfortunately for Chara, Hartnell never dropped his gloves and Chara got a double minor to put the Flyers on the power play. Two minutes without Hartnell in exchange for four minutes without Chara is a deal the Flyers will take 11 times out of 10.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk
Sustained pressure at both ends of the ice prevents Flyers from getting back in the game 05.04.11 at 11:43 pm ET
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Last year, the Bruins failed to keep their foot on the gas pedal and let the Flyers back into a 3-0 series and back into a 3-0 Game 7. Whether the Bruins can finish off the Flyers in this series remains to be seen, but they showed on Wednesday night that they’€™re not about to ease off the gas again. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the game’€™s opening 63 seconds, the Bruins refused to let up and continued to pressure the Flyers at both ends of the ice.

‘€œI think we knew there was still lots of hockey left to play, and it was important for us to keep playing our game and not all of a sudden go into a shell or sit back,’€ Claude Julien said. ‘€œThey’€™re a team that is very good offensively and if you give them some space or if you sit back, they’€™re going to make you pay for it.’€

The Bruins made it clear they weren’€™t going to sit back with a pair of huge hits on the forecheck. First it was Brad Marchand, who knocked Ville Leino clean off his skates with a hard shoulder to the chest. Later in the first period, Daniel Paille unloaded on Kris Versteeg and sent the forward sprawling into the boards.

‘€œThere were a couple big hits, and we need that,’€ said defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who had a nice hip check of his own on Leino in the defensive zone. ‘€œIt’€™s a physical game in the playoffs. We just need guys to play like that and not run out of position to get that hit and give up an odd-man rush or something like that. They picked their spots and there were a couple great hits.’€

Even when they weren’€™t landing bone-jarring hits, the Bruins were consistently disrupting Philadelphia’€™s breakouts. They got sticks on passes, forced them to circle back toward their own end and pressured them into turnovers.

‘€œI think our forecheck was really good,’€ defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. ‘€œOur forwards were really getting on their D. Even when they were coming out of their zone, our guys were stepping up and having good gaps and just keeping them from coming with speed into the middle.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Daniel Paille, Johnny Boychuk, Tim Thomas
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