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Boychuk could return for Bruins tonight

by Dave Lozo
NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who has been out since Oct. 23 with a broken forearm, will be a game-time decision Wednesday against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS).

Boychuk suffered his injury as a result of a slash by Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky, who received a two-minute minor. The 26-year-old Boychuk was wearing a brace on his left arm at Wednesday morning's practice at Madison Square Garden, but said he's ready to make his return.

"If they want me to go, I'm ready to go," Boychuk said. "I feel good. Everything seems to be going fine. It gets stronger every day."

The one thing Boychuk said he's unsure about is how the arm will respond to contact.

"Every practice I've had is either a day-before-game practice or a pre-game skate, so there's no contact at all," Boychuk said. "I can't really say that I've had contact with it. If I was to play, I think it's strong enough right now that it's going to be fine, but you never know. It would be nice to get a practice like that in, but if they need me to play, obviously I'm going to jump in."

Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't tipping his hand on which way he was leaning, but he said with the six defensemen he's currently using healthy and playing well, he wants to make sure Boychuk is 100 percent before inserting him back in the lineup.

"In order for him to get back in, he's got to be able to help us, he's got to be closer to 100 percent than not," Julien said, "because you're going to be taking out a player who's healthy. We're going to give ourselves the opportunity to think about it more today. I think his situation may be that he's not 100 percent, so we've got back-to-back games."

Boychuk had 5 goals and 10 assists while playing an average of 17:39 per game in 51 games for the Bruins last season. In six games this season, he has no goals and 3 assists and is averaging 20:22 of ice time per game.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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