Boychuk suffered lower back injury, will have MRI

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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