Advertisement

Bruins hoping Marchand can return and give team a boost in Game 4 vs Panthers

BOSTON (AP) — Leon Draisaitl provided the Edmonton Oilers with a boost when he came back from an injury. Sam Bennett delivered in his return for the Florida Panthers.

The Bruins are hoping Brad Marchand can do the same.

Bennett, who was injured in Game 2 of Florida’s first-round series against Tampa Bay, returned Friday night with some big hits in the Panthers’ 6-2 victory over the Bruins that tied their series at one game apiece. One of the collisions left Marchand struggling to get off the ice and in pain on the bench.

Replays show a collision in which Bennett’s hand comes up and appears to hit Marchand in the face. Bruins coach Jim Montgomery was among those who took issue with the hit, saying “there’s clearly evidence of what went on. People can say it wasn’t intentional. We have our view of it.”

Panthers coach Paul Maurice disagreed.

“It was just a collision,” he said on Saturday. “In a perfect world, every team has everybody healthy. Nobody likes to see him get hurt.”

Bennett was not penalized. Marchand remained in the game but did not return for the third period. He did not practice on Saturday, and Montgomery said that the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs was day to day.

“You never want to see someone go down and not be able to come back, especially a guy who’s your leader and your best player,” Bruins forward Charlie Coyle said after the off-day practice. “You want everyone to be healthy and everyone chip in. But it’s an opportunity to step up, and we can do that.”

Bennett missed five straight playoff games after he was injured on April 23, but he returned on Friday night with seven hits and an assist. About a minute after the Marchand hit, he flattened Bruins star David Pastrnak.

“It was nice to get back out there,” Bennett said. “I think it’s important to not dip your toe in. I wanted to go out there and play full speed. That’s kind of my game. I think that’s the only way to approach it.”

PANTHERS at BRUINS, Florida leads 2-1, 6:30 p.m. (TBS)

Montgomery said he didn’t need to say anything to goalie Jeremy Swayman after the Bruins allowed six goals in each of the last two games. (Swayman was charged with nine of them.)

The coach said his goalie was the best player in the first-round series against Toronto, when he won the job after rotating with Linus Ullmark almost the entire season and through the first three games of the playoffs. Florida’s output included five power-play goals, and Swayman also made some highlight-reel saves.

“You seen this guy? This guy wants the crease,” Montgomery said. “That’s the will and the skill that we want from everyone.”

Florida scored 10 unanswered goals after Boston opened the scoring in Game 2; the Bruins had never given up 10 goals in a row in a playoff series in their 100-year history. The Panthers’ four power-play goals in Game 3 were a franchise first, and the most Boston had allowed in a game since 1992.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW