BOSTON – Brad Marchand is a “game-time decision” for Friday night’s Game 6 as the Bruins look to force a decisive seventh game in their second-round matchup against the Florida Panthers. Marchand was a full participant in an optional morning skate at TD Garden.

"He's going through his final steps,” said coach Jim Montgomery. “He'll be a game-time decision."

Bruins wingers Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk said Marchand’s potential return would, naturally, be a huge boost to the Bruins as they aim to keep their season alive once again.

“I think everybody knows how important he is to the team, not only on the ice but off the ice,” said Heinen. “Everything he does, he’s a huge part of this team and definitely a difference maker and someone who impacts the game a lot.”

“He’s our leader…if he’s back, I think that it just brings a vocal guy back on the bench,” added DeBrusk. “Obviously, his skillset speaks for itself. I think it’s one of those things where he does a lot of things differently for this team, special teams and 5-on-5. To add back a really quality player like that, and a leader, the leader of our team. I think it only helps your group.”

Montgomery talks with the media before Game 6

Back on the Line

After a season-saving win in Game 5 on Tuesday night, the Bruins will need a repeat performance to send this series back to Sunrise for a seventh game on Sunday. Coach Montgomery said he expects his team “to have our best game tonight.”

“I think we feel good,” said Heinen. “We feel like we're kind of building here - some things we definitely need to improve on and address, but it's a good, positive vibe in here. Good energy in the room and we feel like we're building.

“I think we’ve still got out best game to show. I think everyone’s excited.”

DeBrusk said the Bruins must get off to a good start and get the TD Garden crowd engaged from puck drop. Boston has dropped both games at home so far in this series and is just 2-4 on Causeway Street this postseason.

“It's gonna be a great atmosphere in here,” he said. “We did what we had to do to get back here at home. The focus is just doing whatever we can to win tonight and build on the last game. We’ll try to use the crowd to our advantage.

“I think it starts with a good start. The biggest thing is getting the crowd into it…playing on the road, you feel the other team’s crowd and things of that nature. At home, you try to use yours. I think a good start helps with that. Gives them something to cheer about too in fairness.”

DeBrusk talks ahead of Game 6 vs. FLA

Wait, There’s More

  • Heinen, who has played in the last two games after returning from injury, said he’s “felt good” since being back in the lineup. “Just trying to keep getting better every game,” he said. “Trying to help the team any way I can. I think that sounds cliche, but that’s what you’ve got to do…I think I’m feeling better with every game. This time of year, everyone’s dealing with stuff. Just try to keep on improving.”
  • Montgomery on Trent Frederic’s playoff performance this season: “Really proud of his development…he's an unreal kid and human being, and to see him take the steps of owning the ice in the playoff time... It's something that... it's the first time he's doing it, and you can see his confidence on the ice. The goal he set up, the [Charlie] McAvoy goal... I don't think he ever would have thought of doing that two weeks ago, never mind two years ago.”

Heinen talks with the media ahead of Round 2, Game 6