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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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Loui Eriksson takes contact, could return Tuesday vs. Stars 11.04.13 at 12:49 pm ET
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Both Loui Eriksson and Johnny Boychuk were on the ice for Monday’s practice, with Eriksson participating fully and taking contact for the first time since suffering a concussion last month against the Sabres.

Claude Julien also tweaked his lines a bit, moving Reilly Smith down to the third line and having Jordan Caron as the extra forward on Patrice Bergeron‘s line.

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

After practice, Eriksson said that he hopes to return to the lineup Tuesday against his former team.

“The head is getting better and I’m feeling pretty good right now,” he said. “We’ll see about tomorrow. I still have some testing to do, but I’m feeling much better than when I got hit.”

It was just last Monday that Julien had said that Eriksson was “at least” a week away from skating, but he’s zipped through the stages of protocol and could potentially play Tuesday.

“As long as you’ve passed all the different stages of the protocol, you’re good,” Julien said. “He went through one and felt good, then skated, then skated with us on the Island and he skated again yesterday. He’s had no issues so far. Today he had the opportunity to have a full workout with the team, and he still has to go through some tests before he’s cleared, and we’ll go day by day with his situation.”

As for Boychuk, Julien said the defenseman is still considered day-to-day. Boychuk left Thursday’s game against the Ducks after crashing into the boards in the second period and did not play Saturday against the Islanders.

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Johnny Boychuk day-to-day for Bruins 11.01.13 at 1:09 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins had only seven skaters and goalie Chad Johnson take the ice Friday at Ristuccia Arena. Johnny Boychuk was not one of them, as Claude Julien said he is day-to-day after crashing into the boards and leaving Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Ducks.

“Just day to day,” Julien said. “He’s here today, feeling better. We’re going day to day with him.”

Boychuk was hurt on his third shift of the second period and missed the remainder of regulation and overtime.

Players who practiced Friday were Johnson, Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Ryan Spooner, Jordan Caron, Carl Soderberg and Matt Bartkowski.

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

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