Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said on Friday that Brad Marchand would miss at least one game after suffering an upper-body injury on Thursday.
Marchand woke up Saturday morning with other ideas. Cassidy revealed during his pregame press conference that Marchand was “feeling a lot better” and would at least take part in warmups.
Marchand did take part in warmups, he took line rushes in his usual spot on the top line, and just like that he was cleared to play.
Less than 48 hours after he was unable to lift his right arm and unable to return to Thursday’s game, Marchand is back.
Marchand was injured when Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway hit him from behind into the boards. Hathaway received only a two-minute minor and no supplemental discipline from the NHL.
Marchand's return is obviously a huge boost for the Bruins, as he is their leading scorer with 43 points (20 goals, 23 assists) in 32 games. The hope was just that it wouldn’t be a long-term injury; not missing a single game didn’t seem to be in play.
Jake DeBrusk had moved up to the top line in Marchand’s absence on Thursday and played well there. He would have stayed there had Marchand missed Saturday’s game. Now DeBrusk drops back down to the third line with Charlie Coyle and Oskar Steen.
With Anton Blidh out after also getting hurt on Thursday, the fourth line on Saturday is Nick Foligno, Tomas Nosek and Curtis Lazar.
UPDATE: Marchand didn't look any worse for the wear during the game. He led all Bruins forwards in ice time at 19:35, tied for the team lead with eight shot attempts, and picked up the second assist on David Pastrnak's game-winning goal in the third.
“It’s gonna take a lot to sit out a game,” Marchand said after the game. “If you feel like you can play through it, it’s always been part of the culture in this organization, is if you feel you can play, you battle through it. You almost feel like you’re letting the guys down if you sit out.”