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Bruins Notebook

No word yet on Sturm

Left wing suffers early leg injury

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / May 2, 2010

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This being the playoffs, coach Claude Julien was expectedly tight-lipped when quizzed about Marco Sturm’s first-shift leg injury.

“He’s being evaluated,’’ Julien said after yesterday’s 5-4 overtime win. “I think, if anything, we’ll probably have something more specific for you guys by tomorrow.’’

But given Sturm’s reaction — on his hands and knees, unable to get up even when the puck left the zone — and the team’s prompt declaration (approximately seven minutes into the game) that he would not return, it’s a good bet that the left wing suffered a significant injury.

“It’s always tough to see a teammate going down,’’ said Zdeno Chara. “Our bench was one man short, so those things kind of happen. We can’t really control them.

“Obviously the guys up front really shared the load and played really hard. For sure it wasn’t easy for them.’’

On the game-opening shift, Sturm threw a check on Matt Carle along the right-side boards in the offensive zone. Sturm fell and never got up. Play continued for approximately 15 seconds until Tuukka Rask covered the puck at 0:41. Trainer Don DelNegro finally was given the green light to attend to Sturm.

With help from Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, Sturm skated off while flexing his right leg.

On Dec. 18, 2008, Sturm tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee, injuries that ended his season.

“It’s never easy when you lose a guy on his first shift,’’ said Julien, who had started the game with Sturm on the first line with Bergeron and Mark Recchi. “We had some set lines that we wished we could have been using.’’

The blow of Sturm’s injury was somewhat lessened when Steve Begin, taking a spin at left wing alongside Bergeron and Recchi, scored the game’s first goal at 2:39. Johnny Boychuk started the play by pinching down the wall and sending the puck to Recchi behind the net. Recchi swung out front and threw a backhander on goal that bounced off traffic and caromed to Begin’s stick. Begin wasted little time firing the puck past Brian Boucher. “I knew, when he threw me out there with Bergy and Rex, that something was going to happen,’’ said Begin (two shots, four hits, 71 percent faceoff efficiency in 12:08 of ice time). “It’s easy with them. You’ve got to go to the net. They’re so strong on the puck. They’re so smart. They work so hard.

“You know something’s going to happen out there. I went to the net, the puck ended up on my stick, and I just had to shoot it in.’’

If Sturm becomes unavailable, Shawn Thornton, a healthy scratch yesterday, most likely would reenter the lineup. Daniel Paille could replace Sturm on the No. 1 line.

Sobotka hurt, too
Vladimir Sobotka, one of the most disruptive forwards in the first round against Buffalo, spent nearly half of the first period in the dressing room after suffering an upper-body injury. At 9:16, Sobotka drove to the crease, and with help from Ryan Parent, knocked the net loose. Fifteen seconds later, Sobotka left the ice and went to the dressing room. Sobotka returned in the second period, but never played his rough-and-tumble game. Sobotka, who started the game centering the fourth line, even took some shifts at left wing. He was limited to 15 shifts and 10:20 of ice time. Julien said Sobotka will be available for Game 2 tomorrow. Sobotka had been slowed by a shoulder injury late in the regular season.

Boxed in
Adam McQuaid was called for two second-period penalties. On his first, a hooking call, the Flyers netted a power-play goal. McQuaid then got tangled up with Danny Briere at 15:20 and was sent off for interference. “In my situation, I’ve got to make sure I’m staying out of the box,’’ McQuaid said. “We were lucky enough to kill the second one. I’m happy that we won, because it looked pretty bad on my part to take a few penalties and turn the game around.’’ McQuaid was limited to three seconds of ice time in the third period . . . Boychuk led all players with 33:29 of ice time, three seconds more than Chara . . . Miroslav Satan had a team-high six shots, including five in overtime . . . Milan Lucic was credited with a game-high six thumps.

Elder statesmen
Among the Bruins who have dressed in these playoffs, only six had been born the last time the Bruins and Flyers squared off in the postseason in 1978: Chara, Satan, Thornton, Recchi, Marc Savard, and goaltender Tim Thomas . . . Defenseman Mark Stuart (hand infection) skated yesterday for the third straight day. There is a chance he could rejoin the team for practice next week and be available for game action later in the round.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com.

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