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Claude Julien tweaks lines for morning skate, Johnny Boychuk’s status uncertain 03.27.13 at 12:05 pm ET
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Wednesday’s morning skate featured more tweaking of the Bruins’ line as they prepare to host the Canadiens in a contest for first place in the Northeast Division. Claude Julien has moved Milan Lucic back with David Krejci and Nathan Horton, while Brad Marchand skated on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.

The lines were as follows:

Milan LucicDavid KrejciNathan Horton

Daniel PaillePatrice BergeronTyler Seguin

Brad MarchandRich Peverley  - Jordan Caron

Jay Pandolfo – Gregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Johnny Boychuk, who has missed the last two games with an apparent foot injury, was back on the ice for the Bruins for the first time since leaving practice last Friday. Julien said following the morning skate that Boychuk’s status for Wednesday’s game is “uncertain” given that he has not been cleared to play. Boychuk will be re-evaluated Wednesday afternoon.

Matt Bartkowski said he is unsure whether he is in the lineup for Wednesday, but don’t count out Bartkowski playing even if Boychuk returns given Aaron Johnson‘s recent struggles.

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Johnny Boychuk out Monday vs. Maple Leafs 03.25.13 at 11:23 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk will miss his second straight game when the B’s host the Maple Leafs Monday night at TD Garden, Claude Julien said Monday morning.

Boychuk left Friday’s practice with an apparent foot injury. He did not practice Sunday after missing Saturday’s game in Toronto. In his place, Matt Bartkowski played 13:05, posting a minus-2 with one shot on goal. Bartkowski will play in his second consecutive game Monday

The Bruins did not hold a morning skate Monday, but Julien shuffled the team’s lines in Sunday’s practice. They were as follows:

Brad Marchand ‘€“ David Krejci ‘€“ Nathan Horton
Daniel Paille ‘€“ Patrice Bergeron ‘€“ Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic ‘€“ Rich Peverley ‘€“ Jordan Caron
Jay Pandolfo ‘€“ Gregory Campbell ‘€“ Shawn Thornton

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

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Johnny Boychuk out, Rich Peverley back in Bruins lineup vs. Maple Leafs 03.23.13 at 7:13 pm ET
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Johnny Boychuk will miss Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs, with Matt Bartkowski making his season debut in Boychuk’s place. Boychuk suffered a leg injury in Friday’s practice, causing the B’s to recall Bartkowski from Providence.

Rich Peverley, who was a healthy scratch Thursday against the Senators, is back in the lineup. Claude Julien is keeping Ryan Spooner in the lineup, with Jordan Caron a healthy scratch against the Leafs. Spooner will center Peverley and Jay Pandolfo.

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

Read More: Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Caron, Matt Bartkowski, Rich Peverley
Bruins recall Matt Bartkowski on emergency basis 03.22.13 at 5:03 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled defenseman Matt Bartkowski on an emergency basis Friday, the same day that defenseman Johnny Boychuk left practice with a right leg injury.

Bartkowski will be available for Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs. The 24-year-old has three goals and 21 assists for 24 points in 56 games this season.

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

Read More: Johnny Boychuk, Matt Bartkowski,
Shootout magic: Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask come up big as Bruins beat Devils 01.29.13 at 9:48 pm ET
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Brad Marchand scored the decisive goal in the sixth round while Tuukka Rask stopped 5-of-6 shots in the shootout as the Bruins beat the Devils, 2-1 in overtime Tuesday night at TD Garden. The Bruins (5-0-1) have gained at least a point in all six games this season. The highlight of the shootout came when Tyler Seguin had to re-do his first shot that produced a goal because a fan threw something on the ice. Seguin repeated his effort and scored again.

The Bruins and Devils are the only teams in the Eastern Conference without a regulation loss so far, joining San Jose and Chicago in the West, who were perfect coming into Tuesday’s action.

The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the opening 20 minutes. Each team recorded nine shots on goal but neither team sustained serious pressure. The main highlight of the first period was a fight between Boston enforcer Shawn Thornton and New Jersey tough guy Krys Barch. In a bout that lasted for nearly a minute and a half, Thornton landed several clean shots before the two were broken apart by the officials, with both teams applauding their skater for staying on their feet the entire time.

The Bruins killed off an Andrew Ference tripping penalty with five minutes left in the first, giving them 24 straight kills to open the season.

But the Bruins were not as lucky in the second period as Johnny Boychuk was whistled for tripping at 7:22. David Clarkson redirected a Marek Zidlicky shot from the left point past Tuukka Rask for the first power play goal allowed by the Bruins in 25 chances this season.

The Bruins would kill off the next three power play chances and finished the game 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. They are 27-of-28 on the penalty kill this season.

The Bruins came out with much greater intensity in the opening minute of the third period and were buzzing around Johan Hedberg. Boston’s best chance came when Dougie Hamilton fired a shot from the left point that just went wide, missing the stick of David Krejci. Instead of a goal, Krejci was called for goaltender interference, taking some momentum away from the Bruins. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, David Clarkson, David Krejci
Johnny Boychuk ‘ready to go right now’ 01.08.13 at 2:49 pm ET
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If you see Johnny Boychuk around town and want to call a toast to hockey being back, order anything but Red Bull.

The Bruins’ defenseman, who is back in town after spending the lockout overseas, couldn’t escape the stuff while playing for EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League. Rather than a refrigerator of bottled water, gatorade and other sports drinks, the dressing room over there offered one drink. Guess what it was?

Fortunately, the tap water was good to drink and it didn’t prove to be anything more than a minor inconvenience for the Bruins’ defenseman. After his first practice back with teammates on Tuesday, Boychuk spoke highly of his European experience.

“It was kind of like I wanted to go and play somewhere and get into actual game shape, and work hard while I was there,” Boychuk said. “I heard you have to work really hard, so it was good. We rode the bike a lot and you got in shape really quick there. That was a key part of going there, was getting into competitive hockey, too.”

As was the case with fellow Bruins blueliner Dennis Seidenberg in Germany, Boychuk played on a team that rotated its defensemen more heavily, meaning the games didn’t end up being as taxing as they figure to be in the upcoming NHL season.

“We rotated a lot,” he said. “Everybody played around the same minutes, but at least you got to play quite a bit.”

Even with less minutes, the offensive numbers were good for Boychuk — two goals and six assists in 15 games — so is he becoming the puck-moving defenseman for which the Bruins have been searching for years?

Not exactly. Boychuk called the numbers “decent” but attributed them to his team’s style of play.

“It was a little bit different,” he said. “The coach wanted us to jump up in the play more and it helped up a lot.”

For what it’s worth, Boychuk appeared to pinch more often early last season than he had in the past, so maybe his lockout performance was a combination of weaker competition, being more offensively involved and simply improving. After all, this will Boychuk’s fourth full NHL season (using “full,” liberally, as he played in only 51 games in 2009-10), so he still feels he has improvements to make.

“Now I just want to step my game up a little bit more every year and play well defensively and when there’s a chance to jump up there offensively I will,” he said.

With camps opening soon, Boychuk thinks he got everything out of playing in Austria that he wanted. He’s sharp, and he’s in shape.

“I’m ready,” he said. “I’m ready to go right now, so it’s a perfect situation for me because you had to go there and work hard. Now that the season’s starting I’m glad I went there because it was a good experience and you really had to work hard to stay in shape there.”

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Bruins getting offensive with the defense 04.24.12 at 10:21 am ET
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For all of the talk – and deservedly so – about Patrice Bergeron finally getting nominated as a finalist for the Selke award for best defensive forward in the game, it’s ironic that the offensive play of the Bruins’ defensemen is a key reason they even find themselves in a Game 7 Wednesday night against the Caps.

“Yeah, they’€™ve played well all series, but also I think all year and it’€™s just another aspect of our game that shows right there that we’€™re deep offensively, but also we’€™re deep on defense and throughout the lineup,” Bergeron said Monday. “They’€™ve been helping us in this series a lot to just get offense, but also defensively to stop their skilled guys and can’€™t say enough about all of them back there. They all do their job and they all take pride in it.”

Everyone knows about the abilities of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in helping to contain Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom. And everyone knows that both of them bring cannons from the point with their slap shots. What fans – and even the Caps – may not have counted on was the offensive contributions of Johnny Boychuk and Andrew Ference.

Boychuck had one of his patented “Johnny Rockets” on a power play to tie Saturday’s Game 5 at 3-3, when time was running down. Sunday, it appeared for all the world that Ference – on “Earth Day” – had given the Bruins the game-winning goal in regulation when he pinched down and scooped up a rebound off a Tyler Seguin shot and put it in the net.

Earlier in the game, it was Ference who smartly read the rush of Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley out of the offensive zone circle draw toward the slot and fired a shot that Peverley tipped past Braden Holtby for the game’s first goal.

“I think he’€™s done a great job,” B’s coach Claude Julien said of Ference. “We’€™ve always liked Andrew’€™s battle and also for his size and also for the fact that he certainly has good versatility. He moves well, he skates well and again, we keep encouraging our D’€™s to support the attack and go out the ice and he’€™s done a great job of that.”

There is a risk, of course, like when Chara and Seidenberg get caught too far up ice as was the case on Capitals’ goals in Games 3 and 6. In Game 6, the Capitals tied the game, 2-2, when Jason Chimera got behind Seidenberg, who had a broken skate, and beat Tim Thomas.

“Our D’€™s seem to be finding a little bit more balance in this series as we get near the end, between jumping in [and] supporting, and also being reliable defensively we can’€™t forget the fact that this is a team in Washington that’€™s got some guys that can score goals and they love to blow the zone quickly. So we’€™ve got to be careful we don’€™t get our D’€™s caught up the ice all the time, but he did a great job [Sunday] at identifying that opening and going up the ice and giving us that lead.”

The Bruins will be relying on that again in Game 7 as they look for every advantage.

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, Dennis Seidenberg
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