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Bruins Notebook

Broken finger KO’s Lucic

Severity is unclear; Lefebvre recalled

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / October 18, 2009

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GLENDALE, Ariz. - If you ask Ottawa’s Chris Neil and Carolina’s Jay Harrison - who have been on the wrong (meaning bloody) end of Milan Lucic scraps this year - they’ll tell you about the force the Bruins winger delivers with his punches. But it looks as though Lucic won’t be dropping the gloves in the near future.

Lucic missed the Bruins’ 4-1 loss to the Coyotes last night because of a broken right index finger. According to coach Claude Julien, he suffered the break during the second period of Friday’s 3-0 win over Dallas when he threw a hit on Stephane Robidas in the corner. Lucic tried to play through the injury, but saw only limited time in the third period.

Julien wasn’t certain, but he thought Lucic had broken his right index finger.

“Right now, the severity of it, we’re not 100 percent sure,’’ Julien said. “We’ll evaluate it with our own doctors once we get home. We’ll probably have more news by the beginning of the week.’’

The injury took place on the first night that Lucic had been dropped off the No. 1 line. Against the Stars, Lucic lined up on the No. 2 unit next to David Krejci and Blake Wheeler. The move seemed to work, as Lucic was back to his ornery, thump-first self (team-high five hits).

The Bruins, down to 11 healthy forwards, promoted left wing Guillaume Lefebvre from Providence to fill out their lineup. Lefebvre skated 16 shifts for 11:01 of ice time. Lefebvre landed two hits.

“He brings toughness,’’ Julien said. “Obviously we lost some toughness in Lucic. In those exhibition games, he showed he was a guy you can rely on and wasn’t going to cost you goals. He’s a pretty dependable guy.’’

The 6-foot-1-inch, 195-pound wing was invited to camp on a tryout basis. Lefebvre appeared in five preseason games, recording one assist and 14 penalty minutes. On Sept. 26, Lefebvre signed a one-year, $500,000 contract, then was assigned to Providence.

“I felt I had a good camp,’’ Lefebvre said. “My first goal was to get a contract.’’

Lefebvre, skating on coach Rob Murray’s checking line with Drew Larman and Kirk MacDonald, had logged one assist and 25 PIMs in four AHL games.

Last night was Lefebvre’s first NHL appearance since 2005-06, when he dressed in nine games for Pittsburgh. In 70 games last season for Springfield, Lefebvre collected 4 goals and 9 assists while racking up 206 penalty minutes, showing he was one of the AHL’s tougher scrappers.

Lefebvre got the call at approximately 11:30 p.m. Friday. That night, the P-Bruins defeated Lowell by a 4-2 score. During the game, Lefebvre was checked into the boards from behind and suffered a cut near his right eye. Yesterday morning, he drove from Providence to Boston, then took a direct flight to Phoenix. Lefebvre arrived approximately three hours before the start of last night’s game.

Lefebvre skated on the fourth line with Steve Begin and Shawn Thornton. Wheeler, who played right wing Friday, switched back to the left side to replace Lucic alongside Krejci. Byron Bitz was bumped up to serve as the No. 2 right wing.

“I had to get my legs in the first because I traveled all day,’’ Lefebvre said. “It’s never fun to be in a losing situation. Just a tough loss tonight.’’

Not much buzz
Only 9,162 fans attended last night’s game. But seemingly all of them booed Wheeler every time the second-year NHLer touched the puck. Wheeler was Phoenix’s first-round pick in 2004, but opted for free agency instead of signing with the Coyotes. Thursday, only 6,899 fans attended Phoenix’s 3-2 overtime win over St. Louis. Last night, there was no local TV carrier airing the game . . . Milton, Mass., native Keith Yandle, once Derek Morris’s teammate, is now renting the former Coyote’s Scottsdale home. “I told him I hope he has some parties,’’ Morris joked. “He’s 21 years old.’’ . . . Last night marked Morris’s 800th career game, with 288 taking place in a Phoenix sweater. “The hockey just wasn’t fun,’’ Morris said of his final days in Phoenix. “I wasn’t having fun playing hockey. I didn’t love the game. I came to Boston and I love going to the rink every day. Win or lose, it’s fun to be around the rink and around the guys. That’s why I play hockey - for the love of it. Here, I have no bad memories of the city or the people. It’s just that the hockey wasn’t was it was. That’s my fault and everybody’s fault.’’

Sleeping in
Because of their early-morning arrival in Glendale following Friday’s win, the Bruins scrubbed their morning skate . . . The Coyotes recalled Kevin Porter from San Antonio Friday. The forward was a year behind Matt Hunwick at the University of Michigan. Porter won the Hobey Baker Award as a senior in 2007-08 . . . Dennis Wideman (shoulder) sat out his third straight game . . . Patrice Bergeron had a team-high five shots . . . The Coyotes took only two power-play shots, but scored on both of them.

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