Bruins’ Johansson doing all he can to take air out of Maple Leafs

Matt Kalman
April 19, 2019 - 2:08 pm

As far as hockey injuries go, a lung contusion is one of the rarer ones.

And you can bet Bruins forward Marcus Johansson would rather than go through that again.

“I mean I couldn’t do much for a while, so I mean that obviously is not good,” he told after the Bruins’ morning skate at Warrior Arena on Friday.

The Bruins are heading into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first round against Toronto tied 2-2 thanks to their Game 4 win on the road. Back home at TD Garden, Johansson’s painful breathing caused by the hit from Carolina’s Micheal Ferland on March 5 is a distant memory.

“Right now it’s not bothering me at all,” Johansson said.

Johansson is also over the mysterious illness that him the day after Game 2 of this series. He suspects he caught a bug that’s been going around, and he was so sick he couldn’t even travel to Toronto with the Bruins for Game 3. He missed that game but then arrived in time to contribute four hits and a big blocked shot in Game 4.

Considering he’s gone in and out of the Boston lineup a couple times since he was acquired at the NHL trade deadline from New Jersey, Johansson could’ve been forgiven if he’d attempted to avoid injury anyway possible. He still got in front of a Travis Dermott one-timer and took it off the left leg late in the second period Wednesday.

“You don’t really think when you do it. I mean it’s part of the game,” he said. “We won by two, but for a while it was a one-goal game and those small things can make a big difference when it comes down to it.”

Johansson and center Charlie Coyle were starting to build chemistry shortly after Johansson returned from the lung injury. If they could click against the Maple Leafs, they could provide the Bruins the secondary scoring they’re going to need to advance beyond this round.

Kuraly’s back

Forward Sean Kuraly is expected to return to the lineup after missing 12 games because of a fractured hand. He said he’ll wear a splint but otherwise doesn’t expect any limitations. He’ll replace Joakim Nordstrom in the lineup and probably start Game 5 with center Noel Acciari and right wing Chris Wagner.

DeBrusk looking for a goal

Forward Jake DeBrusk, who had five goals in the Bruins’ seven-game win against Toronto last season, is still looking for his first goal in this series.

“Yeah, it’d be nice [to score>,” he said. “It’d be obviously something that I’m looking to do. In saying that, I think that this time of year is perfect, though, it’s one of those things that it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win. That’s the beauty of it, but in saying that, I would kind of like to find my game.

Quick start trend

The odds are good coach Bruce Cassidy will start that Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner line in an effort to get the Bruins off on the right foot. Any trio that’s on the ice for the first drop of the puck should be aware that early-game goals are becoming a trend.

Thursday night the Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes each scored a goal 17 seconds into their respective games. Then the San Jose Sharks were slow pokes, scoring their first goal of their game 1:16 in.

So both starting lineups Friday will have to be on high alert, and fans should plan on being in their seats on time.