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Bruins lose Boychuk with back sprain

by Matt Kalman

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 KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

James NealJussi JokinenJayson Megna

Zach SillBrandon SutterChris Conner

Chuck KobasewJoe VitaleChuck Kobasew

Olli MaattaKris Letang

Deryk EngellandBrooks Orpik

Matt NiskanenSimon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury

Jeff Zatkoff

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 LucicDavid KrejciJarome Iginla

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson

Carl SoderbergChris KellyReilly Smith

Daniel PailleGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Dennis SeidenbergTorey Krug

Matt BartkowskiKevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jordan Caron

Injured: Johnny Boychuk (back), Adam McQuaid (lower body)

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