Bruins notebook

Decision made to sit McQuaid

He’s day-to-day; Hnidy gets call

Nathan Horton makes it difficult for Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell to follow the action. Nathan Horton makes it difficult for Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell to follow the action. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / May 5, 2011

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That Adam McQuaid missed Game 3 last night was no surprise. That he is day-to-day might be more curious.

After a nasty spill in Game 2 Monday, the Bruins defenseman was diagnosed with a sprained neck. At 17:31 of the first period, after missing a check on Mike Richards, McQuaid tumbled headfirst into the end boards at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He was taken to Jefferson Hospital and didn’t return to the game.

After the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime win, McQuaid traveled back to Boston with his teammates.

“Day-to-day, nothing more to report on that situation,’’ said coach Claude Julien.

With McQuaid unavailable, Shane Hnidy made his second appearance of the postseason. Hnidy skated only four shifts for 2:38 of ice time, but his teammates appreciated the 35-year-old’s presence.

“He was great on the bench,’’ said Johnny Boychuk. “He gave us words of wisdom when we came back. If we had a tough shift, he always kept us up. It was good to have him there. When he played, he played smart. He played defensive and he did the job for us.’’

Hnidy has now appeared in 39 playoff games, with four goals and two assists.

“This is where experience really comes in handy, having been in this situation before,’’ Hnidy said. “I’ve played in and out of the playoffs in other years. You have to stay sharp.’’

Big hitter, Boychuk Late in the second period of Game 2, Boychuk got the following read on a play. He believed a puck in the offensive zone would roll to the stick of Patrice Bergeron. If so, Boychuk wanted to tighten his gap and provide support for Bergeron.

Bergeron never got the puck. Instead, Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn settled the puck near the end boards. Boychuk, however, never slowed down. With one of his signature body slams, Boychuk nearly thumped Coburn into the Delaware River. Philadelphia’s Scott Hartnell took exception, got in Boychuk’s face, then was called for slashing.

“I’ve seen it time and time again,’’ said Shawn Thornton. “Being able to hit like that is kind of a skill, like shooting the puck or anything else.

“He’s got the timing down. You see it every 5-10 games or so, even during the regular season, that he catches somebody. I wish I had that gift.’’

Boychuk’s blast may have had an effect on Coburn. In overtime, as Milan Lucic started the forecheck, Coburn rimmed the puck around the wall. When Kimmo Timonen couldn’t settle the rim, Nathan Horton gained control and fed David Krejci for the winner.

Coburn said he never saw Boychuk coming, but he didn’t take exception to the hit.

“I like giving checks,’’ Coburn said. “Sometimes you’ve got to take them. I don’t back down from hits. Sometimes a check like that gets you going a bit.’’

The Bruins continued to thump last night. Brad Marchand had seven hits, the best being a wipeout of Ville Leino. Late in the first, Daniel Paille buried Kris Versteeg with an open-ice hit.

“We don’t want to make it easy out there,’’ Marchand said. “We want them to know it’s going to be tough. They’re going to have to work their butts off and really sacrifice their bodies if they want to have a chance to get back in the game or the series. We really want to push back, and we did that to a T.’’

PP breakthrough After running dry for the first 30 attempts of the postseason, the Bruins’ power play finally scored last night on a two-man advantage.

With Richards and Coburn in the box, Zdeno Chara blasted a point shot past Sergei Bobrovsky for his second goal of the night. The Bruins had gone 0 for 3 earlier in the game.

“I thought tonight, and even the last game before tonight, we created some good chances. Really good scoring chances,’’ said Chara. “We just needed that bounce. So it’s nice to score.’’

The Bruins had two golden looks in the second after Kimmo Timonen was sent off for hooking. First, Bobrovsky went into the splits to kick out a Rich Peverley shot. Just seconds later, Bergeron pinged a puck off the left post.

“I thought our power play was actually very good tonight,’’ Julien said. “We hit a post, we had some good scoring chances, and as far as I was concerned, if we work our power play the way we worked it tonight, we’re going to be OK.’’

Button sewn up The Bruins signed prospect Ryan Button to a three-year entry-level contract yesterday. Button, the team’s third-round pick in 2009, can return to junior next season as an overage player but most likely will begin his pro career in Providence . . . Flyers center Jeff Carter made his series debut last night after missing the first two games because of a knee injury. Carter also sat out the final three games of the first round against Buffalo. During the regular season, Carter netted a team-leading 36 goals. Jody Shelley, who dressed in Game 2, was a healthy scratch last night. Defenseman Chris Pronger missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury. Danny Syvret dressed in Pronger’s place once more . . . Krejci won all eight of his faceoffs. Gregory Campbell went 11 for 12, while Bergeron won 17 of 19. “Our guys did a great job of that tonight,’’ said Julien. “I thought it was important, especially against that team. They’ve got some good faceoff plays in the offensive zone and they can become very dangerous. Our centermen did a great job. Even the other guys, recovering those loose pucks in the battles.’’ . . . The Bruins were intent on quieting down James van Riemsdyk’s game last night. The former University of New Hampshire standout exploded in Game 2 with two goals and several other scoring chances. “We’ve got to pay attention to a guy like that,’’ Boychuk said before the game. “There’s a lot of guys we can pay attention to. But he seems to be finding the puck and putting them in the net.’’

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto

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