BOSTON – Brad Marchand has been ruled out for Sunday night’s Game 4 between the Bruins and Panthers after suffering an upper-body injury in Game 3. Boston’s captain is considered day-to-day, though he was around the team during morning skate.

“Brad’s in the team meetings, he’s doing well,” said Montgomery, whose team will be aiming to even up their second-round series with Florida at two games apiece.

Montgomery reiterated that the Bruins were not pleased with Florida forward Sam Bennett, who appeared to deliver a blow to Marchand’s head as the two came together in front of the benches early on in Game 3.

“I don’t think I classified it as dirty. I just think it was outside the lines. I think it was someone that plays the game on the edge and he knew what he was doing…he loaded up,” said Montgomery.

The Bruins also acknowledged that there should have been a better response to Bennett’s actions.

“I feel that that’s my fault that we didn’t retaliate to some degree, but you’re trying to get back in the game,” said Montgomery. “It’s 1-0 up until they get the four-minute power play and then we start the third and we score right away, and we got juices going. There’s reason why we didn’t but I think that’s something that I personally take responsibility for that.”

Trent Frederic said that many of the players did not realize the extent of what happened until after the game when they were able to review footage of the incident.

“During the game, it was kind of hard to know it was a dirty hit,” said Frederic. “I don’t think we all knew how bad it was. I think guys have now seen a replay of it slowed down and kind of see what he did. At the time, I don’t know if we knew how bad it was. I guess now we do.

“Even watching it right away, you kind of have to slow it down and then you see…I don’t know when I found it, but it wasn’t during the game.”

Frederic speaks ahead of Round 2, Game 4

Frederic added that the Bruins must find the right balance in sticking up for their captain, while also trying to tie up the series at two games apiece.

“There can be a time in the game where that can happen. That’s something that we might address but it’s a 2-1 series. We’ve got to be smart, too. We’ve given them a lot of power plays already. Try to limit it and do it in a smart way,” said Frederic.

“I think it pisses off everyone. I think this whole team ticks everyone off, to be honest. There’s some individuals that maybe make guys more frustrated and more mad. But you can’t use it as frustration, you still have to go out and do the job. We’re still down 2-1 and try to make it 2-2 tonight.

“It’s a really fine line. I’m sure all these refs are aware of what happened the last three games, what happened last game. In a great world, we can just do something about it, eyeball for an eyeball. But sometimes that’s not exactly how it works, you’ve got to find your spot.”

When it comes to filling the void with Marchand sidelined, the Bruins said it must be a collective effort.

“It’s gonna be hard, it’s not gonna be one guy, it’s gonna be all of us as a group,” said Frederic. “He brings more than what you see on the ice. We’re gonna have to do that as well and have a lot of guys step up and talk. He’s obviously a vocal leader as well. On the ice, his actual play is gonna be harder to make up, but we have to do it as a group.”

“He’s a very important piece of our team and a leader, but we have to stick together…play like we can,” added Pavel Zacha. “Just getting better within every game. It’s gonna be hard but I think we have a great leadership group here who can help us with that situation.”

In the end, Montgomery believes Marchand’s absence can act as galvanizing moment for his club.

“It can be, it has been, and it should be tonight with who our captain is,” he said.

Zacha talks ahead of Game 4 vs. the Panthers

Wait, There’s More

  • With Marchand sidelined, Montgomery said that Danton Heinen, out since Game 5 against Toronto, is “an option” to return to the lineup. Montgomery also said that Zacha will slide down to be the team’s third-line center. “I think Pav in Game 7 played really well for us and I think he needs that attitude and also we’ve moved him to third-line center tonight because I think it helps the Bruins with situational matchups,” he said.
  • Boston’s bench boss also said there could be a change on the back end. “There’s always possible changes,” he said. “We have nine capable defensemen. 11 [forwards], 7 [defensemen is] not outside the realm.”
  • Montgomery did not name a starting goalie, saying only, “The thinking and factoring is, we talked about we had a plan at the beginning, and it always considered the fact that our goalies are not used to playing consecutive games in a lot of short period of time, so that’s factoring into the decision tonight.”

Montgomery talks with the media before Game 4