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Brad Marchand gives update on Game 6 status, reacts to Sam Bennett hit

Brad Marchand gives update on Game 6 status, reacts to Sam Bennett hit originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins need a win over the Florida Panthers in Game 6 on Friday night to keep their season alive, and one huge question entering that matchup is whether their captain, Brad Marchand, will be able to return to the lineup.

Marchand suffered an upper body injury in the first period of Game 3 as a result of a controversial hit by Panthers center Sam Bennett. The veteran left wing missed the third period of Game 3 and then didn't play at all in Games 4 and 5.

Will Marchand be ready to go when the Bruins take the ice at TD Garden for Game 6?

“Hopefully. I’m just going through the steps,” Marchand told reporters after Thursday's practice. “We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but hopefully.

He added: "It's very tough to watch this time of year. You want to be a part of it. It’s great to be back out there (at practice) and be around the energy and the emotion and be out there with the guys."

UPDATE (Friday, May 17): In an interview with 7 News' Steve Cooper on Friday morning, Marchand's mother suggested that Marchand expects to play in Game 6.

Bennett was not penalized, fined or suspended for the hit, even though at least one replay showed he clearly punched the Bruins forward in the head.

What did Marchand think of the play?

“I think he plays hard,” Marchand told reporters Thursday of Bennett. “He’s an extremely physical player and a great player for (their) group. I think he got away with a shot. I’m not going to complain. (Expletive) happens, and that’s part of playoff hockey.

"I’ve been on the other side of a lot of plays, and I think he got away with one, but that’s part of the game. It’s definitely a part of playoff hockey. Sucks to be on the other side of it. That stuff happens, so I’m not going to sit here and complain about it.”

Marchand is such an important player for the Bruins. He's their leader and captain, he still leads the team in playoff scoring (10 points), and he's also tremendous defensively (including the penalty kill). Getting him back not only would give the Bruins a huge on-ice boost, the emotion and energy from the crowd also would give them a little extra juice.

We'll know more about Marchand's Game 6 status after Friday's morning skate.