Boychuk/By S. Bradley

MONTREAL — Johnny Boychuk played not only his best game of the Bruins’ playoff series with Montreal, but maybe his best game in months tonight in Boston’s 4-2 win.

Had he not avoided the oncoming check of Montreal’s Benoit Pouliot late in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Bruins and Canadiens at the Bell Centre, he might not have been around to see the end of the victory.

Here’s the penalty:

After the game, Boychuk wasn’t among the Bruins players made available. And there wasn’t much talk about the hit among all the storylines in Boston’s important win. Head coach Claude Julien offered this comment as part of an answer to a question about Andrew Ference’s decision to challenge Pouliot to a fight after the hit.

“It was a penalty obviously. I thought it could’ve ended up worse than it did because he jumped up in the air and it was definitely a charging penalty,” said Julien.

Whether the league will exact further punishment on Pouliot, we’ll be sure to find out in the two days off before Thursday’s Game 4.