BOSTON -– The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk for three to seven days, including their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at TD Garden, general manager Peter Chiarelli said.
Boychuk suffered a back sprain against the Montreal Canadiens after he was hit into the end wall by Max Pacioretty. Boychuk left that game on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital, but he returned to Boston with the team after the game.
"Johnny's doing better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. "I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there, personally. You know those kind of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst, and I think we got as good 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, the Montreal doctors, did the right thing. They took him off in a stretcher, took him to the hospital and they got him checked out.
"And after the MRI [exam on Thursday], they found no fractures. So a lot of it has been based on him locking up from going into the board, muscle spasm and everything else. So we hope that it'll be a quicker recovery."
Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis skated Saturday. He left the Penguins' 5-1 win Thursday against the San Jose Sharks with an injury. Coach Dan Bylsma said a decision on Dupuis' availability and the rest of his lineup would be made at game time.
Here are the projected lineups for the Penguins and Bruins:
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Pascal Dupuis
James Neal – Jussi Jokinen – Jayson Megna
Zach Sill – Brandon Sutter – Chris Conner
Chuck Kobasew – Joe Vitale – Chuck Kobasew
Olli Maatta – Kris Letang
Deryk Engelland – Brooks Orpik
Matt Niskanen – Simon Despres
Scratched: Harry Zolnierczyk, Robert Bortuzzo
Injured: Andrew Ebbett (ankle), Beau Bennett (wrist/hand), Tanner Glass (hand), Evgeni Malkin (lower body), Paul Martin (tibia), Rob Scuderi (ankle), Tomas Vokoun (blood clot)
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Loui Eriksson
Carl Soderberg – Chris Kelly – Reilly Smith
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg – Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski – Kevan Miller
Scratched: Jordan Caron
Injured: Johnny Boychuk (back), Adam McQuaid (lower body)