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Johnny Boychuk cleared to return to Boston

Johnny Boychuk was removed from the ice on a stretcher after he was checked into the boards by Max Pacioretty in the first period.

Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today Sports

Johnny Boychuk was removed from the ice on a stretcher after he was checked into the boards by Max Pacioretty in the first period.

Johnny Boychuk was cleared to fly back to Boston with his teammates Thursday night. After the Bruins’ 2-1 loss to the Canadiens, Boychuk was en route to the Bell Centre from Montreal General Hospital.

According to Jarome Iginla, Boychuk injured his back in the first period when he was hit from behind by Max Pacioretty. Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher. It is unknown how much time Boychuk will miss because of the injury. The Bruins host Pittsburgh on Saturday, then start a four-game Canadian road swing in Toronto the following night.

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“It was an injury serious enough to bring him to the hospital,” coach Claude Julien said. “Definitely, I think it will be a little while before he’s good to go.”

Pacioretty was sent off for boarding for his hit on Boychuk, but the Bruins do not believe additional discipline will be required.

Pacioretty hit Boychuk from behind, but it was not a heavy hit. Boychuk did not have far to tumble into the boards.

“I think it was deserving of a two-minute penalty,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “When I looked at it, it was. I’m being honest here. I don’t think it was more than that. I think it was the way he went into the boards that did most of the damage. I don’t think it was from the severity of the hit. We have to be honest if we’re going to clean up this game. To turn around and say that it should have been a game, suspension, I don’t think so.”

An even more dangerous hit was not called. Dougie Hamilton belted Brandon Prust from behind in the second. Hamilton could have been called for boarding, but was not penalized. Travis Moen went after Hamilton, but the defenseman didn’t engage. Prust wasn’t hurt.

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