Less than three weeks after the Bruins acquired him a year ago, Rick Nash suffered a concussion that compromised him and ultimately ended his career. This year, the team is again worried about a recent addition: Marcus Johansson, who left the Tuesday’s game at the Garden after just 59 seconds of ice time.
The Boston rivalry with the Hartford Whalers wasn’t much in a competitive sense, but the games were frequently physical affairs. Two of the three times Hartford ran up at least 115 penalty minutes in a game were against the Bruins at Boston Garden, with those 1991 and 1992 Adams Division battles also in Boston’s top 12.
Tuesday’s win opened with a modern-day homage, the first period featuring five minors and a fight. The heaviest hit, however, was clean as a whistle.
— FOX Sports Carolinas (@CanesOnFSCR) March 6, 2019
Just three minutes in, Carolina winger Micheal Ferland gave the puck away in his defensive zone. It ended up on the stick of Johansson, in his fourth game with Boston, who sought to bring it in along the right boards. Ferland lined up the Swede and drove his right shoulder heavy into Johansson’s left.
Johansson hit the ice and, after remaining down for an extended period, was ultimately helped off. About 40 minutes later, the team announced he would not return due to an upper body injury.
“He went to the hospital … it looks encouraging, but I don’t want to speak out of turn,” coach Bruce Cassidy said after the 4-3 overtime victory. “When tests are done, we’ll have a better answer.”
It was also a short night for Ferland, who was done before the end of the first period. In the next 35 seconds of play after his hit, Joakim Nordstrom, Noel Acciari and Chris Wagner combined to lay five hits into Hurricanes players. On an ensuing faceoff after Tuukka Rask froze the puck, David Backes and Ferland immediately dropped the gloves, the former fighting for the third time in Boston’s last four games.
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) March 6, 2019
After a largely uneventful tussle, Ferland simply skated off and went down the tunnel.
Johansson was again skating with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on the second line, those two combining for the overtime winner. He averaged 15:28 in ice time in his first three games since being acquired from New Jersey, with a lone assist.
“We’re all concerned about MoJo’s health,” Charlie McAvoy said on NESN after the win. “We’ll all be saying our prayers for him.”