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Boychuk leaves game on stretcher

Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher early in the first period of Thursday's game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Boychuk went into the left-corner boards to try and chase down a puck and was pushed from behind by Montreal's Max Pacioretty. He hit the boards head first and collapsed to the ice.

Boychuk laid on the ice for several minutes with trainers attending to him. He was conscious the whole and his whole body was immobilized before he was carted off the ice on a stretcher.

Boychuk was taken to Montreal General Hospital, but Boston head coach Claude Julien said that Boychuk would be returning to the team tonight and flying home with them.

"Johnny is on his way back from the hospital and is going to fly back with us," said Julien. "I don't know the severity of the injury, but it will be some time before he can go again."

Pacioretty was issued a boarding minor on the play at 4:28.

Boychuk has averaged a little over 21 minutes of ice time per game this season, posting one goal and five assists in 27 contests.

12/05 23:26:58 ET