Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, left, is congratulated by Mark Stuart after his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Thursday, March 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Krupa)
Boston, MA – In the Bruins 3-2 shootout thriller Thursday night, Johnny Boychuk stepped up and came up big.
Johnny, known for his glass-cracking slap shot, put his power to good use, scoring 15 minutes into the second period. Teammates Mark Recchi and Marco Sturm picked up the assists.
After suffering a fractured orbital bone on Feb. 6, Boychuk had a very successful first game back. It was the young defenseman’s third NHL career goal, and he ended the night with a +1 rating.
“It was just, basically I just got a nice little tap back, had a good screen in front of the net and just tried to hit the net actually,” Boychuk said. “Rex [Mark Recchi] was right in front of him so he couldn’t see anything.”
Johnny's rocket helped the B’s snap their 10-game winless stretch at home. Boychuk, making sure to keep things simple, said he was just happy to contribute.
“I don’t know, it was just that it felt good to score a goal, especially to put us ahead,” he said.
B’s head coach Claude Julien explained what makes Boychuk such an asset on the Boston roster.
“He’s a guy that competes hard and he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty,” Julien said. “He shoots the puck and he’s a real good team player too.
“The players like him and he does a real great job coming in and playing well any time he’s called upon.”
It was Boychuk’s first NHL game with a visor as well, an addition that he says didn’t affect his vision like some thought it might.
“I just have to wipe it down every once and a while from all the sweat. That’s about it,” he said.
When asked if he thought he’d participate in a shootout, Boychuk gave his characteristic grin and chuckle.
“I’m not going to be shooting, but Miro [Miroslav Satan] can shoot for me, I guess,” he said. “I was just getting ready for the twenty-first spot.”