The one thing the Bruins had to be hoping for was to remain injury-free coming out of their one exhibition game after staying healthy through the last three weeks of practices.
That might not be the case unfortunately as Brad Marchand was forced to exit in the third period of Thursday night's 3-1 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Arena in the Toronto Bubble.
Marchand was on a penalty kill shift when he appeared to suffer some kind of lower-body injury and then immediately headed back to the Bruins dressing room once he was able to get off the ice. It was unclear whether it was related to an awkward tumble he took while putting a hit on Zach Werenski in the corner, or if it was a lower-body pulled muscle while quickly trying to change directions during the penalty kill.
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"He left [the game]," said Bruce Cassidy. "I don't think it's anything serious, but we'll have a better idea obviously in the morning."
Certainly, the Bruins are hoping it's not serious, but there may not be much of an update on Friday with the Bruins scheduled to have a day off the ice. Either way, Marchand didn't return to the game and ended up having a rough night all-around as he finished with no shots on net, a couple of giveaways and a penalty in 13:55 of ice time in the exhibition loss.
Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman skated shifts at left wing in Marchand's absence for the remainder of the third period. Clearly, the Bruins are hoping it's not a very serious injury situation with Marchand given that the round-robin games begin Sunday for the Black and Gold, but the good news is they have more than a week to heal up prior to actual Stanley Cup Playoff games waiting in the balance for Marchand and the top-seeded B's.