Injured Bruins star: ‘Part of playoffs is trying to hurt’ opponent

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand thinks Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett ‘got away with a shot’ on the hit that injured him earlier in the second-round series, but said it’s part of the game.

‘People don’t want to say it but part of the playoffs is trying to hurt every player on the other team, and the more guys you take out, the more advantage your team has,’ Marchand said Thursday about the Game 3 play.

Video caught Bennett appearing to punch Marchand when the Bruins player tried to check him in the first period. Bennett, a skilled, hard-hitting player, told TNT that he was bracing himself and not trying to punch his opponent.

Marchand played for the rest of that period and the second one but sat out the third period and Games 4 and 5 with an upper-body injury.

‘Every time you step on the ice, someone’s trying to hurt someone,’ Marchand said, adding, ‘That’s part of the benefit of having a physical group. That’s why you see teams go the distance with big D corps and physical teams and it’s why you rarely see teams that are small and skilled go far because they get hurt.’

Marchand has had his share of questionable plays in the playoffs, and Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe recently called him ‘elite’ at getting away with penalties.

‘It sucks to be on the other side of it, but that stuff happens,’ Marchand said.

The Bruins trail 3-2 in the series after winning Game 5 in Florida to stay alive. Game 6 is Friday in Boston. Can Marchand play?

‘Hopefully,’ he said after practice. ‘Just going through the steps. We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but hopefully.’

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery called Marchand day-to-day.

‘I will say he looked good, but he’s got boxes to check,’ he said. ‘We’ll know more tomorrow.’

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