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Bruins-Rangers preview 11.17.10 at 2:14 am ET
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NEW YORK – Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers got the better of the Bruins back on Oct. 23 in Boston with a 3-2 win (a one-goal game between these teams? What else is new?), so the B’s will be seeking revenge when they play in New York on Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a 3-0 victory over the Devils on Monday in which Tim Thomas picked up his fourth shutout of the season.

WHERE IT’S AT

Marian Gaborik and the Rangers have had reason to celebrate since his return from injury. (AP)

– The Bruins are an impressive 6-1-0 on the road this season, with their lone loss as the away team coming at the hands of the Capitals on Nov. 5. It was a contest in which they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the third period but fell, 5-3.

– The Bruins aren’t the only team that has struggled to dominate at home. The Rangers are 4-5-1 at Madison Square Garden, and have gone 2-2-0 in their last four home games.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

– Nine goaltenders have multiple shutouts this season, and two of them could play on Wednesday. Lundqvist has two shutouts in 13 starts this season, while Thomas (first off the ice at the B’s skate midday Wednesday) leads all netminders with four.

Nathan Horton has four points in his last three road games. His second-period tally against the Devils on Monday was the 150th of his career.

STORYLINES GOING IN

Claude Julien indicted on Monday night that Johnny Boychuk could be in the lineup on Wednesday. Boychuk has been out since Oct. 23, a game against the Rangers in which a slash from New York forward Brandon Dubinsky fractured his forearm.

Should Boychuk return, the biggest question is which defenseman will be a healthy scratch. Adam McQuaid has done very well with the opportunity given to him, and he could stick in the lineup as a result. It seems either McQuaid or Matt Hunwick will be the odd man out.

Marian Gaborik wasn’t in the Rangers lineup when they faced the Bruins at TD Garden last month, but he has since returned from a shoulder injury and has clearly made an impact. He’s had four points in his three games since coming back, with all of them coming on Sunday against the Oilers. In that game, Gaborik picked up a hat trick and an assist. He’s a plus-5 on the season.

– Julien will be coaching in his 500th career NHL game on Wednesday. It will be his 262nd game with the Bruins.

“Those things are so far away from my mind, that I don’t even know [when they come],” Julien told reporters with a laugh on Tuesday. ” … I don’t pay much attention to that. I’m just happy to be here.”

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Johnny Boychuk could return from forearm injury on Wednesday vs. Rangers 11.15.10 at 10:25 pm ET
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Claude Julien said Monday night that Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci will accompany the Bruins as they travel to New York to face the Rangers on Wednesday night. Krejci, working his way back from a concussion suffered Nov. 6, continues to skate with the team while Boychuk, who suffered a fractured forearm on Oct. 23 against the Rangers, could return to game action.

“Boychuk is day-to-day now,” Julien said. “Depending on how his wrist is or is arm is, there’s always a possibility we could see him in Wednesday’s game.”

Julien expressed uncertainty on the subject of whether Marco Sturm (knee) or Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome) will travel with the team. Both have been skating as they look to return from their respective injuries.

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Notable progress made for David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk 11.13.10 at 1:09 pm ET
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Krejci has been out since suffering a moderate concussion last Saturday (AP Photo)

It was easy to see on Saturday morning that David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk are improving, simply because one could actually see them. Krejci, out with a concussion suffered last Saturday took the ice for the first time prior to the B’s morning skate, while Boychuk, who has been skating, joined his teammates for the first time on Saturday.

“Both are progressing well,” Claude Julien said following the skate. “David started his exertion tests yesterday, got on the bike and felt good enough today so that he moved on to getting on the ice and skating a little bit today. I guess that result, we’ll get later on as the day progresses and how he feels, and whether he still feels good tomorrow. Those are things that he’s going through. So far, everything is going in the right direction with him.

“Johnny is the same thing. He started skating with us today, and got some shots — he’s capable of shooting now a little bit and everything else, so he’s progressing well. I guess these next few days will determine how close he is to starting to play again.”

Krejci still has a bit to go before he’ll be suiting up for games, as the B’s anticipated him missing at least a week. Boychuk, who is still wearing a cast, hopes to be back by next weekend. For now, the Bruins are focused on winning with the guys they have.

“You have to deal with things, and if you don’t deal with them well, you’re not going to be successful,” Mark Recchi said Saturday. “I think we handled things very well last year when we went through a lot of it. This year, we see the light at the end of the tunnel with some of the guys coming back, so it’s good, but at the same time, we have jobs to do. We have to go out there and everybody has to elevate when you looser people, and take on more responsibility.”

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Johnny Boychuk hopes to return to Bruins by next weekend 11.12.10 at 1:16 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, out since Oct. 23 with a fractured forearm, was one of only five Bruins to take the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday. He was joined by fellow rehabbing players Marco Sturm and Marc Savard, as well as goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas. It was the first time he has been able to shoot on goalies since the injury.

The prognosis for Boychuk’s return was four weeks, and he hopes to still be on track for a return by the latter part of this month.

“Maybe. Hopefully. I hope so,” Boychuk said when asked if he was optimistic he could return by next weekend. “That will be four weeks I think, so hopefully I’ll be good to go.”

Boychuk admitted that it’s a matter of “just seeing whenever the doctor says I’m going to be OK to practice,” and not trying to push it. He said he is still experiencing occasional pain, with taking pucks on the backhand the biggest issue for him.

With Boychuk out, Adam McQuaid has taken his spot on the roster. The Bruins have gone 4-2-1 over the seven game period that they’ve been without Boychuk.

“We’ve been playing really well, so it hasn’t been too bad,” Boychuk said. “Watching the games, you see when we’re doing really well, it makes it a lot easier, but when we lose it’s kind of tough to watch. You can’t really do anything about it.”

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Bruins set for bout with Maple Leafs 10.28.10 at 6:23 pm ET
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The Bruins are set to face off against the Maple Leafs, who are off to a 5-2-1 start to the season. The biggest difference in Thursday night’s lineup for the B’s will naturally be the presence of Adam McQuaid, who has been called upon to dress after Johnny Boychuk suffered fractured forearm on Saturday. McQuaid has been a healthy scratch for the first six games of the season.

McQuaid has skated on the third pairing with Matt Hunwick in practice this week, with Andrew Ference jumping up to the top pairing with Zdeno Chara. Claude Julien cautioned against expecting the pairings to stick throughout the games, as the Bruins have had no problems with switching them up over the course of a game.

“I think you’ve seen enough games by now that we don’t really stick with pairs. We mix and match,” Julien said Thursday.

With that being said, here is the anticipated lineup for Thursday:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Jordan Caron – Patrice Bergeron – Blake Wheeler

Mark Recchi – Tyler Seguin – Michael Ryder

Brad Marchand – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Andrew Ference

Mark Stuart – Dennis Seidenberg

Matt Hunwick – Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas

Tuukka Rask

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It’s finally game day for Adam McQuaid at 1:33 pm ET
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Defenseman Adam McQuaid has seen plenty of ice time in practice. A healthy scratch in each of the Bruins’ first six games of the season, the 24-year-old recently inherited a spot in the lineup when the Bruins received news that Johnny Boychuk would be out for approximately a month with a fractured bone in his forearm. Now that he can expect some playing time, the practices have had a little more meaning for McQuaid, who had previously used them to stay sharp for if and when he got the call.

Adam McQuaid

Adam McQuaid

“They’ve been good,” McQuaid said of the last three practices. “It’s been good to kind of get into the rotation a little bit more in practice. It’s been a while, so I’m just looking forward to getting in there.”

It has been a while. McQuaid last played in the playoffs for the Bruins last season, an experience he speaks highly of given that being exposed to such a high level of intensity has prepared him for just about anything.

McQuaid laughed when asked if he was fully prepared to step in and serve as a clone for Boychuk, but did note that the two share one major similarity. After all, it wasn’t long ago that Boychuk, now a top-two defenseman paired with Zdeno Chara, was sitting out games as a healthy scratch as he himself itched for playing time last year. Once he did get the opportunity, Boychuk posted a plus-10 rating in 51 regular season games.

“He did an amazing job last year as far as when he sat out there for a while and then came in and did an awesome job,” McQuaid said of Boychuk. “I’m just looking to come in, get my feet wet and if I can do as well as he did, I’d be extremely happy.”

In 19 regular season games last year, McQuaid had one assist and he dressed in nine playoff contests for the B’s. Claude Julien hasn’t been able to see a difference in McQuaid’s game given that he simply hasn’t been able to play, but that doesn’t seem to deter the coach from having confidence in his young defenseman when he does take the ice.

“He hasn’t played a regular season game yet, so it’s hard for me to stand here and throw flowers at the guy, but I think if anything, he’s a player that’s matured and we like what we saw from him last year when he was called upon. He was a good slid player for us. He plays safe. He plays a good strong game, he’s very physical, he’s a tough individual and he doesn’t cost you. So those things put together make him a great candidate for a hockey club.”

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Dennis Seidenberg confident in Bruins defense without Johnny Boychuk 10.25.10 at 5:22 pm ET
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Dennis Seidenberg has faith that Bruins defense will collectively pick up some extra slack with Johnny Boychuk out (AP Photo).

Dennis Seidenberg has faith that the Bruins defense will collectively pick up some extra slack with Johnny Boychuk out four weeks with a fractured forearm (AP Photo).

WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ blue line was all the rage on Monday. Johnny Boychuk talked about the fractured forearm that will require a cast and keep him out four weeks, while Adam McQuaid spoke of his readiness to seize the opportunity that’s been put in front of him. With Boychuk out, McQuaid in and the Bruins’ defensive pairings shaken up, one veteran is confident that the team will get along just fine.

“He played on the top pair with [Zdeno Chara], so it’s going to be tough to replace a guy like Johnny, but I think McQuaid is going to do a good job,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “… I think we’re deep enough to replace a loss like Johnny, but I think we’ve just got to play our system and support each other well, and we’ll be fine.”

McQuaid said on Monday that he was going to do his best to fill the “big shoes” of Boychuk, but replacing a top-two defenseman is more than a one-man job. Each defenseman will have to make slightly bigger contributions, whether they be in the form of minutes or otherwise. Boychuk had averaged 20:23 of ice time through the Bruins’ first six games.

Seidenberg was correct in noting that while he expects his fellow blueliners to pick up some extra slack with Boychuk out, how much more each man can give depends on the player.

“Johnny was logging a lot of minutes, so everybody has to pick up a little bit,” Seidenberg said. “I don’t know if Z can pick up any more minutes than he played last game [31:48], but I think the other guys can definitely chip in a little bit more and help.”

Seidenberg remains on a pairing with Mark Stuart, though on Monday Andrew Ference made the jump to the top pairing with Chara, leaving McQuaid with Matt Hunwick on the third pairing. The team may continue to tinker with who plays with whom, and Seidenberg is open to anything.

“Playing with Z is always good. It makes stuff a lot easier, like I’ve said a lot of times before,” Seidenberg said. “But again, I think everybody’s going to play with everybody, and you just have to communicate out there.”

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