Johnny Boychuk Leaves Game with Left Leg Injury, Bruins Expect to Know More About Severity on Wednesday

Johnny Boychuk Leaves Game with Left Leg Injury, Bruins Expect to Know More About Severity on WednesdayBOSTON – With the division title and second seed in the East locked up already, the Bruins didn't need to get any points out of Tuesday's clash with the Penguins.

But with just three games left before the playoffs, the one thing they did need was to get through the game healthy.

The Bruins didn't accomplish that goal, with an injury to defenseman Johnny Boychuk potentially far more costly than the 5-3 loss to the Penguins.

Boychuk was hurt with 13:15 left in the third period when he collided with Penguins forward Arron Asham inside the Bruins zone. Boychuk went down in pain and stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the ice. He went directly to the Bruins locker room and did not return to the game.

After the contest, the Bruins were still awaiting word on the severity of the injury.

"Those kinds of injuries you've got to kind of let the night go by and the next day you get a better idea," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We're keeping our fingers crossed right now that it's not bad news. That's all we can hope for right now."

Boychuk was hit on the left leg around the knee area, but Julien couldn't confirm the exact nature of the injury.

"He got hit on the side of the leg," Julien said. "It could be a variety of things in that area. He didn't feel too bad, but when you're still warmed up you don't feel it as much as the next day. The next day you get a better idea. So we're going to reevaluate him tomorrow and probably get a clearer idea of what his situation is."

Boychuk was spotted leaving the arena after the game on his own power, but was limping noticeably. His loss would be a major blow to the Bruins blue line, where he came into the night averaging 20:39 of ice time a game, behind only Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the team.

"It's always tough when you see a guy laying on the ice like that and he's not getting up, or even moving out of the position," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "Three games left, now two, you don't want to see anyone get hurt, especially a guy like him that plays a big role on this team. So hopefully he's going to get through whatever injury he has. He's one of the tougher guys I know, so he's going to do whatever he can to make sure that he's ready."

The injury comes at a particularly frustrating time as the Bruins are already locked into their playoff position, but as much as coaches may want to protect their players, they can't keep everyone out of harm's way in these final games.

"You don't have a choice," Julien said. "[Penguins stars Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby are in from their end of it, and [Kris] Letang, and he's had his fair share of injuries. You've got to play. This is our job. We've got to do our job. There's no doubt you want to minimize ice time. You want to keep guys out, but you can't keep them all out."

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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