Boychuk feels good, hopes to return for Caps


Boychuk feels good, hopes to return for Caps

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Johnny Boychuk said he feels good and that if it were up to him hell be suiting up for Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Capitals.

The 26-year-old defenseman looked like he was down for the count when he suffered a left knee injury smashing into Arron Asham for a third period hit last week. He feared the worst when he went down on the ice after his left knee buckled inward. So did everyone else.

But instead the injury was ruled a sprain, and the rugged, hard-hitting defenseman went through a full practice, ignoring the medical staff that told him he wasnt cleared for contact.

I wasnt supposed to take any battles today, but I got in there for couple of battles and bumps to see how things would feel, said Boychuk. Im feeling good. It was a good step practicing with the team. There were no snags to hold me back, so I kept going.

I hope I play. I obviously dont want to sit out. Well see how it feels later on today and tomorrow, and then go from there. The injury still hurt when it happened, but it wasnt as bad as it could have been. Thats for sure.

Claude Julien said that the chances of Boychuk being ready to return Thursday night for Game 1 against Washington were not impossible.

Im still confident that Johnny Boychuk will be ready to start the playoffs, said Claude Julien. Tuukka Rask may be a little bit longer. But both players are still day-to-day.

Boychuk has essentially been Bostons No. 3 defenseman all season, and is the only other blueliner along with Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg to average more than 20 minutes of ice time per game.

His return will be important for Bostons long-term success, and it allows him to continue waging a one-on-one war with Alex Ovechkin that the two physical, hard-nosed players have developed over the years. When they get together, it's a couple of big hockey bodies participating in some good, old-fashioned hockey violence.

Its fun hitting Ovechkin. To some players it might not seem all that fun, but hes a great player, said Boychuk. When he throws his body around you can feel it. When you do the same thing back to him Im sure hed say the same thing.

Its going to be fun to play against them . . . especially in the playoffs and maybe even seven games.

AFC EAST: Fitzpatrick comes off bench, leads Jets to comeback win


AFC EAST: Fitzpatrick comes off bench, leads Jets to comeback win

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced an injured Geno Smith and led the New York Jets on three scoring drives, and a rejuvenated defense came up with two rare interceptions in a 24-16 comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Fitzpatrick came in for Smith in the second quarter and led the Jets on a go-ahead drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Matt Forte. Fitzpatrick finished 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touchdown as the Jets (2-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.

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Report: Sullinger to miss 'extended time' due to foot surgery


Report: Sullinger to miss 'extended time' due to foot surgery

Former Celtics and current Raptors forward will is expected to miss “extended time” to begin the season due to foot surgery, according to a report from The Vertical. 

Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Sunday that Sullinger, who signed with Toronto after being let go by Boston this offseason, was set to undergo surgery on Monday. 

Chosen 21st overall by the Celtics in the 2012 draft, Sullener spent four seasons in Boston, where he was repeatedly stalled by injuries. In his career with Boston, Sullinger averaged 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

The C’s made him a qualifying offer at the end of the season when he was a restricted free agent, but renounced the offer and let him become unrestricted. Sullinger then landed in Toronto on a one-year, $6 million deal.