Goals-against skid silences Boychuk

Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk takes a knee during practice at the University of British...

Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk takes a knee during practice at the University of British Columbia's Father Bauer rink in Vancouver, B.C., June 3, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:20 PM ET

VANCOUVER - A two-day break in the Stanley Cup final is a long time to talk about just one goal.

So can you really blame Johnny Boychuk for not speaking to the media Friday for the second consecutive day?

The Boston Bruins defenceman is developing an unhealthy trend of digging pucks out of his own net, having been on the ice for the team's past seven goals against, dating back to Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In Game 1 Wednesday, Boychuk's gaffe led to the game-winner by Raffi Torres with 18.5 seconds left in regulation. Boychuk made a risky pinch at his blue line, failing to keep the puck out of the defensive zone. Instead, the Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler chipped it past him before feeding a cross-ice pass to Jannik Hansen, who found an unmarked Torres streaking to the net with Boychuk trailing a couple of strides behind.

One mistake and that was the game.

Boston coach Claude Julien wasn't willing to call out individual players, saying it's something the team will deal with "internally."

"If you ask him, he knows he probably could have played that last goal a lot better," Julien said of Boychuk. "We all know that, but we all need to move on right now."

David Krejci, however, came to the defence of his defenceman Friday, saying the players don't pay attention to trends such as Boychuk's.

"We don't look at the stats," the centre said. "He has been a good player for us, he scored some key goals in the playoffs.

"You know there are going to be some mistakes, hockey is about mistakes -- if there wouldn't be any mistakes it would be 0-0 games. You try to eliminate those mistakes, and maybe get some good bounces your way."

Krejci, who is tied for the playoff lead in goals with 10, may be the one hogging all those bounces, putting together a flattering streak of his own.

The Bruins top centre has been on the ice for the past five Boston goals, scoring three of them and assisting on one. Despite not recording a point in Game 1 against Vancouver, he was tied for the team lead in shots with five and led all forwards with 18 minutes 36 seconds of ice time. He credits his linemates, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, for having raised their game in the post-season.

"We've played pretty well the whole playoffs, even if we don't score a goal (Wednesday)," he said. "We've done a good job staying positive after a bad game, or after a game where we didn't score."

The Canucks admit they are more aware of when Krejci's on the ice.

"We don't see him a lot but we did our homework before," said Mason Raymond, whose line matched up against the Bruins' top trio for most of Game 1. "We know what kind of player he is and what a big part he is to their team. He's a great player and we got to play him hard."

hosea.cheung@sunmedia.ca

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