Bruins Lucic

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic, center, is flanked by court officers as he arrives at Boston Municipal Court in Boston on Tuesday for his arraignment on an assault charge in connection with his arrest over the weekend after his wife called police to their home and said he tried to choke her. Steven Senne/Associated Press

BOSTON — Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was released on personal recognizance bail Tuesday after pleading not guilty to assaulting his wife.

According to a Boston Police Department report, Lucic appeared intoxicated when officers arrived at his North End apartment early Saturday after his wife reported that he tried to choke her. Brittany Lucic told the responding officers that her husband had pulled her hair, but said he did not try to strangle her. She declined an offer of medical treatment.

Milan Lucic, a member of the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup championship team, was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery on a family member, which carries a maximum penalty of 2½ years in prison.

Lucic did not speak at his arraignment Tuesday morning. A plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf, and a pre-trial hearing was set for Jan. 19. As condition of his bail, Lucic was prohibited from abusing the alleged victim and from consuming alcohol.

The judge granted a motion from Lucic’s attorney that he be allowed to attend the next hearing by video call.

Lucic’s agent did not reply to an email seeking comment over the weekend, and did not respond to a text message seeking comment Monday.

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The 6-foot-3, 236-pound Vancouver native has not played since Oct. 21 because of injury. He has two assists in four games this season.

The Bruins said Saturday that Lucic was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team. Coach Jim Montgomery and captain Brad Marchand said they would provide Lucic’s family any support necessary but declined to otherwise comment on the arrest.

BLUE JACKETS: Columbus defenseman Damon Severson is expected to be out six weeks after suffering an oblique injury in the struggling team’s latest loss.

General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced Severson’s prognosis that will likely keep the 29-year-old out until after the New Year.

Severson dived to try to keep the puck in the offensive zone on a play in the second period Sunday at Philadelphia before the Blue Jackets gave up a short-handed goal. He left the ice and did not return.

The Blue Jackets are on a nine-game losing streak and have blown a lead in seven of them.

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“We shoot ourself in the foot,” first-year coach Pascal Vincent said Saturday after a loss at Washington. “We make mistakes at the wrong time, and it’s costing us games, costing us points. So it’s getting old.”

Severson is playing nearly 21 minutes a game for the Blue Jackets and has eight points in 19 games.

In an additional roster move, Columbus sent winger Trey Fix-Wolansky to the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.

CAPITALS: The vibes around Washington are immaculate right now, with the wins finally flowing after a rough start. They’re just not coming the way anyone expected.

Alex Ovechkin has scored just five times, the team’s once-feared power play is last in the NHL and only the lowly San Jose Sharks have fewer goals. Yet the Capitals have won four in a row and eight of their past 10 games.

“We’re going into each game expecting to win,” top center and leading goal-scorer Dylan Strome said. “This group is just finding ways to win, and we’re kind of believing in ourselves more and more.”

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That belief and a surprising run to second place in the Metropolitan Division comes from a combination of strong goaltending, timely scoring and young players producing. But the biggest factor in this run has been Washington’s penalty kill that’s a perfect 23 of 23 over this span.

The Capitals haven’t allowed an opponent to score a power-play goal since Oct. 24.

“It’s just repetition,” penalty-killing forward Beck Malenstyn said. “The penalty kill is huge for that: being able to put yourself in similar scenarios over and over again and understanding what works and what doesn’t work. … The more you see, the more you can make those adjustments and read and react.”

When first-year coach Spencer Carbery watches his PK from the bench, he sees each player reacting the same way every time when the puck moves around the ice.

“That tells you that they’re just so dialed in with being on the same page with their reads and where the next person needs to pressure, where they go, I move here, he moves there — and it’s moving seamlessly,” Carbery said. “It just looks like everybody’s on the same page from a structure standpoint.”

Carbery and goalie Charlie Lindgren credit assistant coach Scott Allen’s preparation, in particular pre-scouting opponents and noticing tendencies. Having an idea what opposing power plays are going to do has allowed forwards to be aggressive in passing lanes to break up opportunities.

“A power play, it’s the five best players on the ice for the opposing team, and I think our guys have been doing a really good job at just disrupting them, making it hard for them, not giving them much time and space,” Lindgren said.

Not taxing penalty killers has helped: The Capitals are the third-least penalized team in hockey.


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