BOSTON – Brad Marchand did not participate in the Bruins’ practice on Saturday afternoon at Warrior Ice Arena after leaving Boston’s Game 3 loss to the Panthers following the second period. Coach Jim Montgomery said the winger is dealing with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.

Marchand appeared to be injured early in the first period when he collided with Florida’s Sam Bennett.

“In real time, I gotta be honest, my eyes weren’t on there; the puck had left that area, so my eyes weren’t on the exact play,” said Montgomery. “But having seen it, there’s a history there with Bennett. Good, hard player. But there’s clearly evidence of what went on. People can say it wasn’t intentional, but we have our view of it.”

Montgomery talks after Bruins have practice

Should they be without Marchand for Game 4 on Sunday night, Charlie Coyle said the Bruins must view it as an opportunity for everyone else to step up.

“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. You want everyone to be healthy and everyone chip in, but it’s an opportunity to step up and we can do that,” said Coyle.

“You see Toronto do that against us earlier with [Auston] Matthews out, they come together and throw together a couple good games without him. It’s just an opportunity for us. I think you’ll see guys take on more responsibility and opportunity and rise to that occasion. We do it together and we want to play for guys who are out of the lineup and can’t be in there or wish they could be in there.

“That’s why we play out there, we play for each other and that’s something we’re gonna do [Sunday].”

Alternate captain Charlie McAvoy echoed Coyle’s sentiments, adding that when it comes to filling the leadership void, the Bruins must do so collectively.

“You can’t replace Marchy’s leadership. He’s 1 of 1 in that term,” said McAvoy. “He knows what to say. He’s experienced. Picking up the slack…it’s a group effort.  A lot of guys stepped up, a lot of guys talked [in Game 3].

“You’re down [a player] in the third period there and everything’s in front of you, you’ve got everything to play for. There was no quit in our team and I thought that was good. There were some good things we can work on moving forward.”

McAvoy talks after Bruins practice on Saturday at WIA

Heinen Close to Return

Danton Heinen skated on a line with Coyle and Trent Frederic during Saturday’s practice as he closes in on a return to game action. Heinen, who has been sidelined by an undisclosed injury, has not played since Game 5 against Toronto.

“We’ll know more [Sunday], for sure to see how he responded in practice, but that’s the best he’s looked in practice,” said Montgomery.

Heinen said he is “hopeful” to return to the lineup for Game 3.

“I feel good, feel good,” said Heinen. “That’s the toughest part is watching the guys go to battle and not being able to be out there and try to help. It’s a lot harder to watch than be out there battling. It’s tough.”

Heinen talks with the media after practice at WIA

Areas for Improvement

After two consecutive lopsided losses that have put them in a 2-1 hole in their second-round series against the Panthers, Boston knows its overall battle level must be elevated.

“You want to give yourself a chance and play the right way,” said Coyle. “There’s some pretty good teams left in these playoffs at this stage in the season. It’s not easy. And you don’t want it to be easy, honestly. That’s what makes it worth it in the end. We’re looking forward to the opportunity, it’s about that next game, that next play, that next shift.

“There’s gonna be ups and downs, nothing’s gonna be perfect, but we’ve got to give ourselves a chance. Whether they come out hard, they have their push, it’s up to us to create ours. We’ve got to do that quicker, we’ve got to stay out of the box – that kind of dampened our momentum that we had a few times last night. Little things like that, we’ll create our bounces by our work ethic.

“We win our battles 1-on-1, we give ourselves a pretty good chance to win games. We’ve seen that in these playoffs. Simplifying things usually plays into our favor the way that we play.”

McAvoy said that despite now being in a series deficit, the belief within the dressing room remains.

“I have a lot of confidence and a lot of faith in this group,” said McAvoy. “It’s a really close group…we all believe in here. That doesn’t change. We’ve had pockets in Game 1 where we played great…now we’ve got to put it together for 60 and build on something here. That’s what we’re looking for on Sunday and can’t wait for the opportunity.”

Coyle talks with the media on a practice day at WIA