The Boston Bruins got their captain back on the ice for the first time in seven weeks.
The Chicago Blackhawks lost theirs, and they hope he won’t be gone much at all.
The Blackhawks beat the Bruins 3-2 on Thursday night for their eighth consecutive victory, a win that was tempered by the loss of forward Jonathan Toews. Chicago’s captain and No. 2 scorer left the game after Dennis Seidenberg came up behind him, hit him on the back of the shoulder and sent him face-first into the boards in the second period.
“Dangerous. Tight area. Strong guy,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “He seemed all right. We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but it looks like he’s going to be all right.”
Seidenberg said he was aiming for the shoulder and had no intent to injure Toews, who was the MVP of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time NHL champion, Toews has 11 goals and 12 assists in 28 games so far this season.
“It was unfortunate how he went into the boards,” said Seidenberg, who waited in the hallway outside the Blackhawks dressing room after the game to shake hands with alternate captain Patrick Sharp.
“I try to be clean,” Seidenberg told reporters. “I would never want to hurt anyone.”
Ben Smith assisted on the Blackhawks’ first goal and scored their second as they opened a 3-0 lead before Boston rallied. Scott Darling made 32 saves for the Blackhawks, who have won 11 of their last 12 games and lost just twice in the past month.
Tuukka Rask stopped 18 shots for Boston. The Bruins have lost four of their last five games and six of eight.
The Bruins were boosted by the return of captain Zdeno Chara, who missed seven weeks with a torn ligament in his left knee. But they couldn’t take advantage of the 6-foot-9 defenseman’s presence.
Klas Dahlbeck and Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago, and Marcus Kruger had a pair of assists. Chicago then had a lengthy power play, including almost two minutes of a 5-on-3, thanks to three penalties in a row against Boston.
One of them was the boarding call against Seidenberg that knocked Toews out of the game.
“We definitely hope it’s not too serious,” Smith said. “He’s our leader, and he’s our catalyst. We definitely rallied behind him.”
The Bruins killed off the power plays, and near the end of the period Reilly Smith scored to make it 3-1. It stayed that way until there were eight minutes left, when Milan Lucic bulled his way through two defenders, taking them both with him behind the net before passing it back to Torey Krug for the goal.
The play ended with several players pairing up and fighting, with the longest-lasting Boston’s Chris Kelly against Andrew Shaw.
The Bruins observed a moment of silence before the game for former Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau. … The Blackhawks scored at least three goals for the 12th time in 13 games. … Chara, who is annually No. 1 on the Bruins in time on ice, played 24:11. He was not on the ice for any of the five goals. The Bruins went 11-8-1 while he was out.