BRIGHTON -- It was business as usual for the Bruins as they prepared for another big game tonight, this one against the Ottawa Senators, while waiting to hear the fate of Brad Marchand after his phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday.
Marchand was skating in his customary spot alongside Patrice Bergeron during morning skate, but it’s expected the Bruins agitator is going to be suspended for at least a game following his spear of Jake Dotchin in the groin on Tuesday night.
"If [we lose Marchand], it's about doing what we did [against Tampa] with everybody stepping up," said Bergeron, who showed good chemistry with Dominic Moore on the penalty kill and during 5-on-5 play at points in Marchand's absence. "I thought everybody did a good job of stepping up and staying positive, and doing our jobs. That's how we have to approach it."
Rookie center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was centering a “fifth line” with injured wingers Frank Vatrano and Tim Schaller and healthy scratch Jimmy Hayes during morning skate, and it’s unknown which player would push into the B’s lineup if Marchand is unavailable. Otherwise it doesn’t look like the Bruins intend to make any changes from a group that’s won six games in a row, and Tuukka Rask has already been confirmed as a starter against the plummeting Sens.
Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Ottawa based on morning skate: