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Johnny Boychuk out three to seven days with back sprain 12.07.13 at 10:16 am ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had an encouraging and somewhat surprising update on Johnny Boychuk Saturday morning, as Chiarelli revealed that Boychuk will miss “approximately three to seven days” with a back sprain.

Consider that good news for the B’s, as it was an ugly scene when Boychuk went down following a hit in the corner from Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty Thursday in Montreal. Boychuk was hunched over on the ice, placed onto a stretcher with his head immobilized and rushed to a local hospital.

“I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there personally,” Claude Julien said Saturday. “Those kind of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst and I think we got as good of news as we could get. When he was down he couldn’€™t breathe, I guess he couldn’€™t move either. So obviously on the medical side of it, our trainers and the Montreal doctors did the right thing. They took him off on a stretcher, took him to the hospital and they got him checked out. After the MRI yesterday which we did, they found no fractures. So a lot of it has been based on him locking up from going into the boards; muscle spasm and everything else.

“We hope that it’€™ll be a quicker recovery, kind of sooner than later kind of thing. So it’€™s hard to tell how long he’€™s going to be out. Still stiff this morning, still walking around. With those kind of injuries, there’€™s always that opportunity that the spasm and the stiffness can go away quickly; you never know. Our plan right now is to bring him on the road with us. Certainly not playing tonight, not playing tomorrow — it’€™s not one of those things — but it’€™s a situation that we’€™ll see how it goes from there. I think his diagnosis was maybe three to seven days and stuff like that. Like I said, we’€™re lucky, and those kind of injuries, as you know, back injuries can have real serious consequences on the player’€™s future. Like I said, we dodged a bullet and we’€™re happy about the fact that it’€™s a lot less severe than initially expected.”

With Boychuk out, the Bruins will rely on either Matt Bartkowski or Kevan Miller (or both depending on Adam McQuaid‘s status) in the team’s upcoming games.

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

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Johnny Boychuk has lower back injury, extent still unknown 12.06.13 at 3:08 pm ET
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Johnny Boychuk has a lower back injury, but the extent of the injury is still unknown, Claude Julien told reporters Friday. Julien said Boychuk will undergo an MRI on Friday, and that the team should know more after that.

Boychuk suffered the injury in the first period of last night’s 2-1 loss to Montreal when Max Pacioretty checked him into the boards. He was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital, but he was able to move all his extremities and was cleared to travel back to Boston with the team.

Pacioretty said after the game that he felt terrible about the injury.

“Honestly, I couldn’t even walk you through the hit,” Pacioretty said. “It’s, you know, I felt terrible. I didn’€™t even really know what happened. I was just kind of battling for the puck. I felt terrible after it happened.”

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Max Pacioretty feels terrible about Johnny Boychuk’s injury, and Bruins believe him 12.05.13 at 11:40 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was adamant that he had no intention of putting Johnny Boychuk in a dangerous position on the play on which Boychuk was forced from Thursday’s game. Boychuk was taken from the game in a stretcher after getting injured on a first-period hit in the corner from Pacioretty.

The hit did not seem malicious, as Boychuk was turning when Pacioretty was already going in for a hit on Boychuk’s shoulder. The result was Boychuk going down hard after his left side was pinned against the boards.

“Honestly, I couldn’€™t even walk you through the hit,” Pacioretty said. “It’€™s, you know, I felt terrible, I didn’€™t even really know what happened. I was just kind of battling for the puck, I felt terrible after it happened. I’€™m going to have to see it because I haven’€™t even seen the replay.’€

No Bruins went after Pacioretty as a result of the hit, and the Habs forward said he tried to get more information about the play and Boychuk’s status as the game went on.

‘€œNo,” Pacioretty said when asked if the Bruins took issue with the hit. “I mean I asked people because I literally didn’€™t know what happened. They said, I think he twisted his back or something in regards to that. I obviously feel terrible, I’€™ve been in that situation before, and I had no intent to injury anybody, I thought I was just playing hard, I hope everything’€™s going to be all right for him.’€

The Bruins clearly believe Pacioretty, as they wouldn’t have hesitated to have some sort of on-ice answer. Tuukka Rask said the play was a case of “bad luck and bad timing,” while Gregory Campbell and Claude Julien both said it was deserving of the boarding minor Pacioretty received, but nothing more.

“I guess it was deserving of a penalty, and that’s what it was called,” Campbell said. “Things happen fast, and Johnny was going in for the puck. I don’t think there was any intent. I’m almost positive. He’s a clean player, and it’s unfortunate things happen, and things happen quickly so sometimes you put yourself in those positions. It’s hard to stop yourself from the momentum you have going into the play there.”

Pacioretty has been at the center of a few controversial plays between the Bruins and Habs over the years. Such actions include celebrating an overtime goal by shoving Zdeno Chara, jumping an unsuspecting Steve Kampfer during a scrum, and most notably being the recipient of a shove from Chara on which his head went into a stanchion at Bell Centre in the 2010-11 season.

Asked whether the hit being from Pacioretty would be reason for anyone to suspect any malicious intent, Campbell replied, “Nobody on this team thinks that.”

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Claude Julien: ‘It’s going to be a little while’ before Johnny Boychuk returns from injury at 11:37 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Johnny Boychuk was cleared to travel with the Bruins Thursday night after he left the game against the Canadiens on a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital.

‘€œHe was cleared to fly back with us,’€ Claude Julien said. ‘€œHe’€™s still obviously injured. We don’€™t know the severity of it and I don’€™t know all the details, but it was an injury serious enough to bring him to the hospital. Definitely, it’€™s going to be a little while before he’€™s good to go. I don’€™t know exactly how much time, but the good news is he’€™s coming back with us tonight and he’€™ll be reassessed by our doctors back in Boston.’€

Boychuk was injured on an awkward play in which he was turning as Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty went to hit his shoulder. Pacioretty received a boarding minor for the play, with the Bruins saying they didn’t find the play to be malicious on his part.

The veteran defenseman remained on the ice for several minutes and had his head and neck immobilized after being placed on the stretcher. He was hunched over on the ice before he got onto the stretcher, which might have suggested the issue could have been something with his back.

‘€œWell obviously he seemed like he wasn’€™t able to move,’€ Julien said. ‘€œWhether it’€™s his back, I don’€™t know exactly. I don’€™t like to comment on things I don’€™t know much about and give false information. He’€™s coming back with us and no doubt tomorrow we’€™ll have a clearer explanation and probably more details from our own doctors.

‘€œThey did a great job here, took good care of him. He saw the specialist and he cleared him to fly back with us, so we’€™ll see how he is.’€

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Habs beat Bruins to take over first place in Atlantic Division at 10:23 pm ET
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MONTREAL — The Canadiens took over first place in the Atlantic Division Thursday night with a 2-1 win at the Bell Centre that hurt the Bruins in more ways than one.

Though the top spot in the division was on the line, the game itself was quickly overshadowed by a scary injury for the Bruins as Johnny Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital. Boychuk was injured on a first-period hit from Max Pacioretty and despite clearly being in a great deal of pain, was able to move all his extremities before being taken to the hospital.

The Bruins bounced back with a first-period goal from Gregory Campbell, but the Canadiens came roaring back in the second period with goals from Tomas Plekanec and Pacioretty. The Bruins followed a dormant second period with a much more active third, but they were unable to get the puck past Carey Price, who stopped all 16 shots he saw in the third.

The Canadiens now have 39 points to the Bruins’ 38, but they have played two more games than the B’s.

The Bruins will host the Penguins, who are tied with the Habs for the Eastern Conference lead in points, Saturday at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

— The Bruins are all too familiar with playing games with only five defensemen this season. In-game injuries to Boychuk (Oct. 31), Adam McQuaid (Nov. 9) and Dennis Seidenberg (Nov. 19) have left the B’s down a defenseman.

— The Canadiens absolutely dominated the Bruins in the second period, getting chance after chance while the Bruins mustered little offensively. The Habs held a 17-7 advantage in shots on goal, but they had some chances on missed shots as well, such as Brian Gionta‘s prior to Plekanec’s goal, while the Bruins had no notable scoring chances and only attempted nine shots.

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Johnny Boychuk leaves game vs. Canadiens on stretcher after hit from Max Pacioretty at 8:17 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Johnny Boychuk left Thursday night’s game against the Canadiens on a stretcher after suffering an injury on a first-period hit in the corner from Habs forward Max Pacioretty.

Boychuk was down on the ice for several minutes, bent over, before he was placed onto a stretcher and had his head immobilized as he left the ice.

The injury was suffered as Pacioretty hit him into the boards as Boychuk was turning. Boychuk’s left side went into the boards first and he appeared to be jammed as the rest of his body hit the boards. Pacioretty, who appeared to be going for Boychuk’s on the shoulder in what seemed to be more bad luck than anything, was given a two-minute boarding minor.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said the following in a statement:

Johnny Boychuk has been taken to Montreal General Hospital for observation, after being injured in Thursday’s game against the Canadiens. Before he was transported to the hospital, he was able to demonstrate movement in all of his extremities. We will provide a further update when it is appropriate.”

The game marked the the fourth time this season the Bruins have had to play the majority of the game with only five defensemen, as injuries to Boychuk (Oct. 31), Adam McQuaid (Nov. 9) and Dennis Seidenberg (Nov. 19) have left the B’s down a blueliner.

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

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Loui Eriksson, Johnny Boychuk expected to return to Bruins lineup vs. Stars 11.05.13 at 11:58 am ET
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Both Loui Eriksson and Johnny Boychuk are set to return from injuries Tuesday against the Stars. Eriksson has been out with a concussion since Oct. 23, while Boychuk left Thursday’s game after crashing into the boards and did not play Saturday.

Eriksson has passed all the tests required to play, while Boychuk said he is 100 percent. Claude Julien said both are expected to be in Tuesday’s lineup.

“Their status is good,” Julien said. “Loui will definitely be in, more than likely Johnny as well.”

Eriksson skated on the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Tuesday’s morning skate. Tuesday marked his fifth consecutive day on the ice, with Monday being the first in which he took contact.

With Eriksson back, the Bruins’ forward lines are as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Eriksson
Soderberg – Kelly – Smith
Paille – Campbell – Thornton

For Eriksson, it will be his first game playing against the only other NHL team for which he has played.

“I have a lot of good memories from Dallas, when I played there, but right now they’ve changed almost the whole team,” Eriksson said. “It’s a brand new team for them, but I was in Dallas for eight years. You get used to everything there, and you miss some things there, but it’s nice to come here. It’s a real nice city to play in. ‘€¦ I really like it here, and the team is good too.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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