Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins

Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand

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Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward James Neal could also be facing supplemental discipline for a kneeing incident on Boston Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand.

The incident occurs about five seconds into the video below. Marchand is tripped up, and while he’s on the ice, Neal skates by and looks to intentionally clip Marchand with his knee.

Neal was assessed only a minor penalty for kneeing. He came out of the box and scored seven seconds after his penalty expired to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Immediately after the whistle, a scrum ensued in the Pittsburgh zone. It was then that Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton took Brooks Orpik to the ice and threw multiple punches, resulting in the Penguins’ defenseman being taken off the ice on a strether.

Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins
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Brooks Orpik was stretchered off the ice in the first period of Saturday’s game between his Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins.

Orpik was grabbed by Bruins’ enforcer Shawn Thornton, taken down to the ice and punched in the head, including when the Penguins’ defenseman was on the ice. The incident occurred during a scrum, after Penguins’ forward James Neal had been called for kneeing.

On the first shift of the game, Orpik delivered a hard open-ice hit on Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson, who left the game and will not be returning. Thornton challenged Orpik to a fight immediately after his hit on Eriksson, and Orpik continued with his shift.

Thornton received a match penalty, and could be facing further disciplinary action from the National Hockey League.

Bruins’ Eriksson heads to dressing room after hard Orpik hit (Updated)

Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins
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Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson took a heavy hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and went off to the dressing room.

The hit occurred early in the first period between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses.

The 28-year-old Eriksson has five goals and 14 points in 23 games in his first season with the Bruins.

Updated: Eriksson will not return to the game, as per the Bruins’ official Twitter account.

Bruins’ Boychuk out 3-7 days with sprained back

Johnny Boychuk
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After Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was injured after being boarded Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, it seemed like he might be out for a while. Hockey players are made of sterner stuff these days it seems.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Boychuk would miss 3-7 days with a sprained back. Being out at most a week seems miraculous given that he was taken off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher and was in very obvious pain when Habs forward Max Pacioretty hit him from behind.

The news was good yesterday when the Bruins said it was a lower back injury and not a head or neck-related. After seeing the play, assumptions were for the worst. At least now we’re proven again what happens when we assume things.

The downside for Boston is the next seven days are busy as they’ve got five games between today and next Saturday. They’re at home against Pittsburgh tonight and then hit the road for four straight starting in Toronto on Sunday.

Canadiens move atop the Atlantic Division with win over rival Bruins

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens
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The Montreal Canadiens continue to roll, right on up to the top of the Atlantic Division.

The Canadiens took over first place in the division thanks to a 2-1 win over their long-time rivals, the Boston Bruins. In fact, the Habs jumped past the Bruins in the division standings.

The win improved Montreal’s record to 18-9-3, however the Bruins do have two games in hand on the Habs.

Trailing after the first period, the Canadiens got a pair of second-period goals from Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty, before holding on for the win after that.

Pacioretty now has four goals in his last five games.

But the story of this game wasn’t the score. In the first period, Bruins’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit into the corner boards by Pacioretty.

The incident occurred less than five minutes into the game. Pacioretty was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.

“As soon as I saw the stretcher come out I wanted to puke. I felt awful,” said Pacioretty of the Boychuk incident, according to TSN’s John Lu.

According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, a source indicated that the injury is to the lower back, but isn’t expected to be serious.