Boychuk suffered lower back injury, will have MRI


On Friday, Boston head coach Claude Julien updated the health of defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who was stretchered off the ice following a hit from Max Pacioretty in a 2-1 loss to Montreal on Thursday night.

Boychuk suffered a lower back injury on the play, Julien said, and will undergo an MRI today. While he’s yet to be officially ruled out of action, it seems unlikely Boychuk will be ready to go when the Bruins host the Penguins on Saturday at TD Garden.

Boychuk, 29, has one goal and six points through 27 games this year and is on pace to set a career-high in assists. He’s averaging 20:19 TOI per game and has emerged as one of the club’s most important blueliners on the penalty kill, ranking second on the team in shorthanded minutes.

Related: Report: No hearing for Pacioretty after boarding Boychuk

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.