Johnny Boychuk leaves ice on stretcher in Bruins loss to Canadiens

Johnny Boychuk Bruins
Johnny Boychuk is taken off the ice in Thursday night’s game in Montreal against the Canadiens after going into the boards. Credit: Getty Images

Playing its third game in four nights, Montreal (18-9-3) fought through physical fatigue to pick up a gritty, 2-1, win over Boston (18-8-2) at the Bell Centre Thursday night.

The Canadiens are the hottest team in the NHL as they are 8-0-1 in their last 10 games and they were rewarded with first place in the Atlantic Division thanks to these two points. The Bruins have to be disappointed with the result, especially since they’re off until Sunday, but losing defenseman Johnny Boychuk 4:28 into the game had to take its toll mentally on everyone in Black and Gold.

Max Pacioretty was called for a boarding penalty when he awkwardly hit Boychuk into the boards. The rugged defenseman was shaken up and initially leaned on his gloved fists. Soon, the Bruins’ medical staff and EMTs brought out a backboard and he was transported to an ambulance on a stretcher that went to a local hospital. The good news is that it was later reported that Boychuk had movement in all of his extremities. Regardless, it was a very scary moment that teammates and fans won’t soon forget.

The lengthy delay took some of the juice out of the first Bruins-Canadiens game of the season. Don’t worry, there are three more meetings starting with Jan. 30 in Boston. Gregory Campbell had the lone goal for the Bruins, a result of a 2-on-1 with Milan Lucic late in the first period. Montreal scored both of its goals in a dominant second period (where it outshot Boston, 18-7). Tomas Plekanec beat Tuukka Rask (25 saves) from a tough angle and Pacioretty backhanded a rebound through traffic.

The Canadiens played in New Jersey Wednesday night and it showed in the third period as the Bruins outshot them, 16-6, but that’s when Carey Price (32 saves) bailed them out. This was the start of a very tough stretch for the B’s: they are off Friday but host Pittsburgh (20-9-1) on Saturday (7 p.m., NESN) then go to Toronto (15-11-3) on Sunday (7, NESN).

What they’ll be saying: On many levels, this was a bitter loss for the Bruins. They were the much fresher team than the Canadiens which showed in the first and third period (where they outshot them 26-9). A poor second period was all it took for Montreal to escape with the victory. Obviously the loss of Boychuk for an extended period of time would prove to be extremely costly too. Kevan Miller was recalled the other day and a healthy scratch tonight but he’s not Boychuk. Adam McQuaid didn’t even make the trip to Montreal as his hip injury flared up again. Boston’s forwards have been relatively healthy this season other than Loui Eriksson’s concussion but numerous injuries to the defensemen are tough to overcome. It’ll be interesting to see if Rask gets both starts this weekend. Chad Johnson played on Saturday vs. Columbus so it’s likely that Bruins head coach Claude Julien will let his star goaltender play vs. the Penguins and Maple Leafs. Boston probably values the Toronto game a little more since it is an Atlantic Division contest but Pittsburgh is perhaps the B’s biggest threat in the Eastern Conference. It is tough to explain how Montreal had 12 more hits (30-18) and won nine more faceoffs (41-32) than Boston. It is a given that the Canadiens will always have more power plays at home than their opposition but Boston was able to successfully kill all four penalties.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.