Boychuk to miss 2nd game in a row

Boychuk to miss 2nd game in a row
March 25, 2013, 1:00 pm
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(USA Today Sports)

The Bruins will be going without minute-munching defenseman Johnny Boychuk for their second straight game as they once again ready for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night to complete their home-and-home battle.

Claude Julien indicated that Boychuk will be out of the lineup and hasn’t skated since taking a Tyler Seguin shot to the foot at an off-day practice last week at Carleton University in Ottawa. Instead, 24-year-old rookie Matt Bartkowski will be in the lineup for a second consecutive game for Boston, and it looks like he’ll again be paired up with Dennis Seidenberg in a top-four spot.

“[The McQuaid injury] remains the same,” said Julien, who was the only member of the Bruins organization to speak after Boston’s morning skate was canceled at TD Garden. “Boychuk is not going to be in the lineup tonight, either. He’s still day-to-day.”

Boychuk was walking around the Air Canada Centre press box last weekend without much of a limp, and the expectation is that he’ll be able to play once the swelling is removed from the side of the foot. So a return this week isn’t out of the question for the tough-as-nails Boychuk.

Bartkowski played 13:05 of ice time in the loss to the Leafs on Saturday night, and improved as the game went on, despite a minus-2 rating and an interference penalty called on the young blueliner. It was his errant pass, breaking out of the defensive end, that ultimately led to Nazem Kadri’s goal for Toronto. Still, he shook off the early jitters and settled into one of the best of his 10 career NHL games with Boston.

Bartkowski is in his last contracted year with Boston and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. This stint for the young blueliner could also be a showcase for a potential deal for a team looking for defensemen depth at the NHL trade deadline on April 3.