Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser will be in the Bruins’ lineup on Sunday against Toronto, according to the Providence Journal. The Bruins needed two more forwards because of Saturday’s events.
Shawn Thornton will not play because of his automatic suspension following his match penalty. Loui Eriksson is out because of a concussion. Late in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Pittsburgh, Chris Kelly was injured when he was slashed by an unidentified Penguin, according to coach Claude Julien.
Kelly, who suffered a lower-body injury, has also been ruled out of Sunday’s game.
Reilly Smith replaced Eriksson after his first-period departure. Smith scored a goal and assisted on Zdeno Chara’s game-winning goal. Smith will remain on the second line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
Spooner projects to center the third line. Carl Soderberg should remain as the No. 3 left wing. Fraser, who recorded a hat trick for Providence on Friday against Manchester, could be the third-line right wing.
James Neal facing suspension
James Neal will have a disciplinary hearing via phone on Monday. Neal was called for kneeing Marchand in the back of the head at 11:06 of the first period.
Marchand had tripped and was lying on the ice when Neal struck his head. Marchand remained down for several moments before going to the bench. Marchand wasn’t hurt.
Neal acknowledged kneeing Marchand but did not say it was deliberate.
“What do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him?” Neal asked. “No, I’m going by him. I don’t get out of the way. I need to be more careful and I guess get me knee out of the way. But I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”
Johnny Boychuk out 3-7 days
In the first moments following his unexpected journey into the Bell Centre end boards, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk couldn’t breathe and had trouble moving.
So that Boychuk might be back in uniform within a week was welcome news for a player and organization expecting a grimmer outcome.
“I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there,” said coach Claude Julien, before the Bruins beat the Penguins, 3-2, on a couple of late goals Sautrday night. “Those kinds of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst. I think we got as good news as we could get.”
Boychuk was diagnosed with a strained back and will be out for 3-7 days. He didn’t play against Pittsburgh Saturday and will not play in Toronto Sunday.
But Boychuk will be with the team during its four-game Canadian road swing, which concludes Saturday in Vancouver.
Trainers and doctors took precaution because of Boychuk’s immediate condition, which was caused by muscle spasms. Boychuk was taken via ambulance to Montreal General Hospital, where X-rays were taken.
Boychuk flew to Boston with the team after the 2-1 loss to the Canadiens Thursday and underwent an MRI Friday.
“He’ll be out. He’s still stiff, just walking around. But with those injuries, there’s always that opportunity that if the spasms and stiffness can go away quickly, you never know.”
Julien reiterated that Max Pacioretty did not intend to injure Boychuk with his check from behind. Pacioretty was called for boarding. Pacioretty was not subject to supplemental discipline. The Bruins did not retaliate after the hit.
“That hit wasn’t meant in a malicious way,” Julien said.
More (Kevan) Miller time
Because of injuries to Boychuk and Adam McQuaid (lower body), Kevan Miller played against Pittsburgh. Miller, recalled from Providence on an emergency basis on Monday, was a healthy scratch against the Canadiens. Miller played 14:50. “He’s a big, strong individual. He handles the physicality and the battles really well along the walls,” Julien said. “He’s also a guy that I think has made some really good first passes. Not fancy but effective. I like that from a defenseman who can make that good first pass.’’ . . . McQuaid joined the team on its road trip. McQuaid will miss his third straight game on Sunday. The plan is for McQuaid to resume skating early in the week. McQuaid has been working out off the ice since aggravating his lower-body injury against Columbus on Nov. 30 . . . Dennis Seidenberg saved a goal in the second period. Seidenberg blocked a Jussi Jokinen with his left leg.