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Johnny Boychuk improving but misses second straight game

The Islanders' Johnny Boychuk skates with the puck

The Islanders' Johnny Boychuk skates with the puck during a game against the Blues at Barclays Center on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. Credit: Errol Anderson

BOSTON — Johnny Boychuk felt better after skating on Saturday morning, but not well enough to play. Boychuk missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury, suffered when he blocked a shot late in the Islanders’ loss in Tampa on Tuesday.

“It hurt but that was the second-to-last shift of that game, then we were off the next day,” he said. “I went out for the morning skate [in Pittsburgh on Thursday] and you just don’t know how it’s going to feel. I’m getting better and it stinks not to play against my old team, but you have to be smart or it could end up being a few weeks instead of a few days.”

Boychuk played for the Bruins from 2008-14. If he’s able to practice on Sunday, there’s a chance he’ll be able to play Monday against the Capitals in Barclays Center.

Dennis Seidenberg stepped into the lineup on Saturday for Scott Mayfield on defense. Alan Quine took warmups before Saturday’s game but remained a scratch.

Clutterbuck avoids serious cut

Cal Clutterbuck’s right hand and wrist had a nasty, curling cut that needed 15 stitches to close, courtesy of someone’s skate during Thursday’s game.

“It’s always scary when the skate blades are involved and there’s cuts and flesh involved,” he said. “Especially in those areas, you have some vital arteries and major tendons running through there — things that are extremely important to not only living, but playing hockey. I’m lucky to come out of it with just a couple stitches.”

Clutterbuck returned to Thursday’s game after missing roughly seven minutes of the second period and said he started to have trouble getting his right hand curled around his stick by the end of the game, but felt fine Saturday morning and played with no issues Saturday night.

New York Sports