RALEIGH, N.C. -- After missing Sunday’s game against the Blackhawks because of an upper body injury, Brad Marchand's availability for tonight's meeting here with the Hurricanes will be a game-time decision.
It certainly looked like Marchand was good to go while taking his turns during line rushes at the Tuesday morning skate, and he said as much after getting through practice, but the Bruins stopped just short of guaranteeing he was going to play. Still, it certainly looks like he'll be in the lineup.
“I felt a little better today,” said Marchand, who was the NHL’s second star of last week with four goals (including two game-winners) and eight points along with a couple of game-winning goals. If we had to play yesterday I probably wouldn’t have been able to play, but I feel good today. So I’m happy with the progress. It was more for the fact that if it had gotten worse than I could have been out for months. It was more precautionary that if I had taken another hit it could have been a long time, and just where we are this close to the playoffs. It just wasn’t worth the risk.”
It's still a bit unclear about the nature of the actual injury, and whether some of Marchand's absence on Sunday in Chicago was also about defusing a situation that could have turned ugly after his Saturday collision with Anthony Duclair.
If Marchand does indeed play as expected, it looks like Tommy Wingels will be the healthy scratch at forward with David Backes also returning from his three-game suspension for his hit on Frans Nielsen. Adam McQuaid will be the healthy scratch on the back end, and Tuukka Rask will be starting in goal for the Bruins against a Hurricanes team that still has an outside shot at the postseason.
Here are the projected Bruins line combos and the D-pairings vs. the Carolina Hurricanes based on morning skate at PNC Arena: