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Kampfer’s nose broken by wayward stick

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / January 16, 2011

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At 0:57 of the second period, Steven Kampfer took a faceful of stick. It was initially ruled that Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis had clipped Kampfer with a high stick. But replay showed that the Easton of teammate Zdeno Chara, who had been tangling with Dupuis, had caught Kampfer.

The result: a four-minute high-sticking penalty on Dupuis and a broken nose for Kampfer.

“He’s been playing really well,’’ said Chara, Kampfer’s defensive partner. “He’s been really solid for us. With the young guys playing and the way he’s playing, it’s a big impact. Hopefully he’ll be OK.’’

Kampfer, caught just under the visor, went down, then skated off with trainer Don DelNegro. Kampfer didn’t return, limited to only six shifts at 5:54 of ice time.

Kampfer’s absence caused a ripple effect throughout the defensive corps. The Bruins already were missing Andrew Ference because of an upper-body injury. Matt Bartkowski, brought up on emergency recall on Friday, is still adjusting to NHL pace. Bartkowski saw only 8:56 of ice time yesterday after a 9:53 workload in his big-league debut Monday.

So once Kampfer went down, the Bruins went mostly with four defensemen, leaning heavily on Chara (29:06), Dennis Seidenberg (27:08), and Johnny Boychuk (26:12).

On the power play, Kampfer had been on the point with Patrice Bergeron on the No. 1 unit. After Kampfer left, Bergeron shared point duties with Seidenberg and Boychuk. On the second unit, Mark Recchi was on the point with Chara.

“We’re getting a little young back there, but I thought the guys handled it well,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “We were in the game right until the end. Those guys did a good job holding the fort. So I don’t think we have any reason to be disappointed in our back end the way they handled that situation.’’

Kampfer was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, and Julien didn’t know how many games, if any, Kampfer will miss. Defenseman Mark Stuart, returning from a hand/finger injury, could be available tomorrow against Carolina if he receives medical clearance.

Scare for Savard At 7:10 of the third, Deryk Engelland drove Marc Savard into the boards with a clean check that dropped the Bruins center to the ice. Savard remained down for several minutes with DelNegro at his side. After gaining his breath, Savard skated off on his own.

He didn’t miss a shift (21:55 of ice time, most of any Boston forward), but Savard acknowledged feeling dazed after the hit.

“A little woozy, to be honest with you,’’ he said. “We’ll see how I feel the rest of the day here and tonight. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the replay. It felt like he just got my head.’’

There is no guarantee that Savard escaped another head injury just because he completed the game. Concussion symptoms can flare up in the hours following an incident.

Punching Penguins The Penguins are averaging 16.1 penalty minutes per game, most in the league. They have an up-and-coming heavyweight in Engelland (76 penalty minutes) and established bruiser Michael Rupp (72 PIMs) knocking heads. Longtime tough guy Eric Godard (48) is on injured reserve.

At 15:07 of the first, with the Penguins leading, 1-0, ex-Harvard grinder Craig Adams squared off with Gregory Campbell. Adams had the early advantage, opening a cut on Campbell and removing his helmet. But Campbell rallied late in the fight with a flurry of righthanded haymakers.

“He had a run-in with Nathan [Horton], and Nathan doesn’t need to be [fighting] all the time,’’ Campbell said. “At a time like that when we’re down one, it never hurts to provide a little energy.’’

Iron man milestone Recchi appeared in his 1,615th game, tying him with former Pittsburgh teammate Larry Murphy for seventh place on the all-time list. Recchi passed Ray Bourque Thursday against Philadelphia . . . Stuart and Milan Lucic were the only players to skate yesterday morning. Ference didn’t skate . . . Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma, who saw his team collapse in the third period against the Bruins last Monday, called his timeout after Michael Ryder tied the game at 11:41 of the second. “[The timeout] was part of the consideration given the history,’’ said Bylsma, referring to Monday’s meltdown. “I also don’t like having a timeout in my hand at the end of the game. I just felt like we needed to look at the clock. It’s 2-2 and we had played a lot of good hockey in that second period at our pace. We gave up the two goals and we still had time to get our heads straight. Guys did that for sure.’’

Crosby still out Sidney Crosby sat out his fifth straight game because of a concussion. Original estimates had Crosby missing a week. But Crosby, who missed his first game Jan. 6, will be out longer. The Penguins are 23-13-8 since 2005-06 in games Crosby has missed . . . The Bruins have their second straight home matinee tomorrow against the Hurricanes. After the game, the Bruins will travel to North Carolina and square off against the Hurricanes again Tuesday at the RBC Center.

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

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