TORONTO – At least three of the four Bruins players who left Wednesday night's game bleeding, bruised or otherwise in physical distress were feeling okay after their 4-3 overtime victory against the Maple Leafs in Game 4 at Air Canada Centre.
Milan Lucic had nine stitches in his right eyebrow after catching a deflected Zdeno Chara shot above his eye at the end of the first period, but didn’t miss any time after getting stitched up during the first intermission.
“Thankfully it hit me on the eyebrow, and it wasn’t lower,” said Lucic. “It felt like I was kicked in the head when the puck hit me.”
Unfortunately, Lucic also accidentally smoked Mark Fraser in the forehead with a shot in the third period that finished the Toronto defenseman for the evening while leaving a similarly bloody mess on the ice. Fraser reportedly was taken to the hospital.
Chris Kelly had four stitches underneath his right eye after catching a Nazem Kadri high stick in the third period that gave Boston a four-minute power play, though the Bruins couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage. Kelly also returned to the game after getting stitched up, but finished with only 12:47 of ice time in the overtime victory.
“It’s part of hockey. You’re going to get cut sometimes,” he said matter-of-factly. “You have bumps and bruises, but you have good docs that stitch you up and get you back out there.”
Johnny Boychuk caught a puck off the right knee in the second period that felled the tough defenseman, and he struggled through an ensuing shift where he basically couldn’t stand up as Toronto pressured in the Boston zone. Boychuk simply kept battling and eventually got off the ice when the Bruins cleared the puck out of the zone, but not before he was on his knees in the crease area ready to block a shot even if meant sacrificing his face.
Boychuk couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he limped back to the dressing room following the painful shift, but he returned to the game as well and ended up blocking seven shots and throwing out seven hits in 23:18 of ice time.
“You do anything to keep the puck out of the net,” said Boychuk, when asked what was going through his mind on that shift. “If the puck is coming at your face, then you’re blocking it with your face. If you can’t put any pressure on your foot, then you need to give your goalie time to make the save or stop the puck yourself because you can’t move.”
“You want to do anything and everything for your team to win. You had a lot of our guys do a lot of things tonight that they don’t want to, but that’s part of winning.”
The fourth Bruins player, Nathan Horton, appeared to get his legs tangled with Dion Phaneuf just before the game-winning goal for David Krejci. There was no update on Horton following the Game 4 win, and he was never spotted in the B’s postgame dressing room.