Boychuk scores first NHL goal
BOSTON -- When the dust settled on the Bruins' 7-2 rout of Toronto, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was able to reflect on scoring his first NHL goal.
The only thing he forgot was his prepared celebration.
"I told (NESN's) Naoko Funayama I was going to do the full David Ortiz," said Boychuk, who instead just raised his arms and looked to the heavens before his teammates on the ice mobbed him.
In the Bruins' lineup for the first time since Oct. 17 (he'd either been a healthy scratch or on a conditioning assignment with Providence of the AHL over that time), Boychuk made the most of his time replacing the recently ineffective Matt Hunwick. Not only did he find the back of the net, but Boychuk also registered three hits and helped the Bruins overcome the absence of Dennis Wideman in the third period with some extra solid minutes.
"What a great way to come back into the lineup and get some confidence from things like that," said head coach Claude Julien. "I thought he played well tonight."
Wheeler gets physical
Replays showed it was the gentlest of pushes in pursuit of a dump-in, but Toronto took exception to Blake Wheeler's contact with defenseman Ian White, who hit the end wall awkwardly. White stayed down for a few seconds before skating off under his own power.
"You never want to put a player in a vulnerable situation," said Wheeler, who despite his size will never be mistaken for a vicious player. "I didn't feel like I really pushed him too hard. I just kind of had my hand on him and I think he was turning the right way. So it kind of caught him in sort of a tough spot. I wasn't trying to obviously put him in a bad situation, it just happens sometimes. I think if you watch it, I wasn't trying to put a guy through the boards. It happens. That's the way the game goes."
Toronto tough guy Colton Orr, who had fought Bruins winger Shawn Thornton earlier in the game, went after Wheeler a little later. Wheeler didn't fight back and the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Orr landed in the box for four minutes.
"That's also part of the game. I think at that point of the game, we were up a few goals and it's kind of an opportunity for one of their guys to maybe get their bench fired up," said Wheeler. "So I wasn't surprised. I probably wasn't going to go toe to toe with him. Once again, that's his job and you respect that and just sort of move on from it."
Wideman didn't play the third period. Head coach Claude Julien said he hoped the injury was minor and classified it as upper-body. & Providence center Trent Whitfield, who skated in seven games for Boston earlier this season, recorded his 500th career AHL point in a 4-3 win over Portland. He became the 76th player in league history to reach that milestone.