BRIGHTON, Mass – After getting three players back from injury Thursday night, the hits keep on coming for the Bruins. Charlie McAvoy is back on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and Brad Marchand won't play in Buffalo Saturday night after taking some hard hits in a 5-2 loss to the Devils.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Marchand, who didn't practice Friday, will travel to Notre Dame, where the B's play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.
“It’s upper body. [Marchand] was not feeling good going into the game yesterday, and then with about a minute to go in the game he left [the bench]," said Cassidy. "He wasn’t feeling well again today. We’ll have a much better idea on him tomorrow. He doesn’t look likely for tomorrow, but he is traveling with us so that could change. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow morning.”
McAvoy, who missed 20 games earlier this season with a concussion and only returned to the lineup Dec. 9, was injured when he blocked a shot in a loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina on Sunday.
On Thursday night, Marchand took a hit behind the play from Blake Coleman on the very first shift of the game and was never able to get back into the play as the Devils eventually scored to take an early lead. Marchand actually left the ice after he was slowing getting up following the contact behind the play and it was his replacement, Danton Heinen, who couldn't catch up to the goal-scorer in Damon Severson trailing the play.
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Marchand played the entire game and finished with 20:20 of ice time to go along with four shots on net and a couple of hits, but it was also clear that the Devils were planning on making him a target every time they got the chance.
Perhaps it was a bit of payback for last season’s elbow to the head of Marcus Johansson that earned Marchand a five-game suspension with the NHL or maybe it was New Jersey just playing hard on Boston’s skill guys. But it was another example of Boston’s best players getting targeted for added abuse without the Bruins doing much in the way of defending their teammate or finding some kind of deterrent to keep it from happening.
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Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice:
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