Bruins

Boychuk exits Pens loss with suspected knee injury

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Boychuk exits Pens loss with suspected knee injury

The Bruins were hoping and praying they could simply stay healthy until the playoffs got going, but that might not be possible now.

The Bs are hopeful, but a potentially damaging injury appeared to take place in the third period of Tuesday nights 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins when Johnny Boychuks left knee buckled after throwing a hit on Pens grinder Arron Asham. It looked like a simple, clean hit like so many that the rugged Boychuk has thrown in the past, but this team his knee moved while his skate didnt while planted firmly on the ice.

The notoriously tough Boychuk went down in a heap, and had to be assisted off the ice by Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston while putting little weight on the left leg. He walked out of the TD Garden without the aid of crutches, but it appeared that Boychuk was walking with a significant limp as he navigated his way down the hall.

When asked if he was okay he simply said he was fine. When asked if hed be at practice on Wednesday he flashed his trademark grin and said maybe.

While it certainly looked like it could be an MCL or ACL issue in his left knee, Claude Julien remained hopeful that the Bruins had dodged another injury bullet while noting that Boychuk didnt appear to be in too much discomfort.

With those kinds of injuries, youve got to kind of let the night go by and the next day you get a better idea, said Claude Julien. Were keeping our fingers crossed right now that its not bad news, so thats all we can hope for right now.

He got hit on the side of the leg. It could be a variety of things in that area, but he didnt feel too bad. Thats why I said when youre still warmed up you dont feel it as much as the next day. The next day you get a better idea. So were going to re-evaluate him tomorrow and then probably get a clear idea of what his situation is.

A serious knee injury knocking Boychuk out for 4-6 weeks would be a major blow to Bostons postseason hopes, and would seriously compromise their plans along the blueline. It could force the Bruins to play Joe Corvo regularly in the postseason lineup when it appeared that things were trending toward the embattled defenseman starting the playoffs as a healthy scratch.

But more than anything else the Bruins would simply miss their No. 3 defenseman capable of big goals, heavy hits and playing 20-plus minutes a night in the playoffs when things start getting rough.

Miller, Krejci game-time decisions tonight; O'Gara called up

Miller, Krejci game-time decisions tonight; O'Gara called up

BRIGHTON, Mass – It wouldn’t be a Bruins game this season if there weren’t some health question marks entering a game night, so the B’s will once again have a few players up in the air for the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.

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David Krejci (back) and Kevan Miller (upper body) were both on the ice prior to morning skate and Krejci participated in the optional practice, along with Patrice Bergeron and a handful of others on Saturday morning at Warrior Ice Arena. Krejci and Miller were termed game-time decisions based on the way things went this morning and Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy could have more lineup juggling in front of him based on those players.

Krejci said he was taking things “day-by-day”, but didn’t think it was going to be a long-term injury even if he misses the game.

“We’ll kind of take it day-by-day and we’ll see. I feel better than two days ago, so I guess we’ll be taking it day-by-day,” said Krejci. “I got hit in the last game and that forced me to leave the game. It’s a brand new injury and it just happened the other day. So that’s what it is.

“I don’t think it’s an injury that would be long term. It’s just one of these things that happens [during the games]. I wouldn’t lie to you if it was something that was a week or two weeks. We’ll just see how I feel later tonight. Injuries happen to every team. Hopefully, this is it for us here early in the season, and down the stretch, we’ll be healthy pushing for the playoffs.”

First the definite situations for the Black and Gold: Bergeron will play for the second game in a row and Paul Postma will be in the lineup, with Adam McQuaid shelved for the next couple of months with a broken leg. Beyond that, the Bruins could swing Miller from the left side to the right side if he plays, Charlie McAvoy could be added to the penalty kill and David Backes could end up playing some center if Matt Beleskey draws back into the lineup.

“We’ll probably move people around. [David] Backes, [Tim] Schaller has played some center over the years and obviously [Patrice] Bergeron looks like he’s going to play,” said Cassidy. “I think we’ll be okay. We sat out a forward the [Thursday vs. the Canucks], so we’ll move people around.

“Kevan will be a game-time decision, so we had a discussion about that and we’ll look into that as well. [Krejci] got hit in the lower back the other night, tried to finish and it’s one of those ones where at puck drop we’ll know.”

Robbie O’Gara popped on the Bruins roster on their team website early on Saturday afternoon, so the Yale alum will get the call if Miller can’t answer the bell on Saturday night. Another piece of good news: Noel Acciari skated with the injured players ahead of the morning skate and appears to be progressing slowly from his broken finger.  

Anything, it seems, is possible for these banged-up B’s as another body drops with each passing game or practice. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Sabres based on an optional morning skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork

DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak

Schaller-Nash-Backes

Beleskey-Kuraly-Agostino

 
Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

O’Gara/Miller-Postma

 
Khudobin