BOSTON (CBS) – The status of Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is still up in the air, as he will be a game-time decision Thursday night for Game 1 of Boston’s playoff series against the Washington Capitals.

“I’m going to dress 22; an extra forward and an extra D,” head coach Claude Julien told the media after the B’s morning skate on Friday. ‘That decision will be made after warmup.”

Boychuk missed the final two games of the regular season with a sprained knee but skated all week at practice, a good sign he is likely ready to return for Game 1.

Read: 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ Expert Picks

The Bruins defense is already a little thin with the absence of Adam McQuaid, but Julien had some high praise for this defensive group Thursday morning.

“I feel very confident. Everyone that we have here is very capable of playing… You can put any one of them in there and they’ve all done a great job,” said Julien. “[General Manager] Peter [Chiarelli] did a great job at solidifying that position for us because it’s  a position we needed to solidify. [Mike] Mottau and [Greg]  Zanon have both played extremely well for us, so that’s a position I feel very comfortable with.”

Read: Bruins-Capitals Schedule

If Boychuk is active, he will likely be paired with Andrew Ference in the Bruins’ second defensive group, after the Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg pairing. Joe Corvo is the likely replacement for Boychuk in the second group.

98.5 The Sports Hub is the only local station to listen to every game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Coverage begins an hour before each game with the Bruins Pregame show hosted by Dave Goucher & Bob Beers.


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