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At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Bruins

by Connor Mellas /

BOSTON -- Coach Claude Julien will be looking for someone to fill the void created by the suspension of forward Brad Marchand when the Boston Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at TD Garden.

Daniel Paille skated on the first line with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith on Friday, and the veteran forward seems to be the most likely choice to take the spot of Marchand, who was suspended two games Friday by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for a slew-footing incident in a 3-0 win Thursday against the New York Rangers.

Paille has one point in his past five games and eight points this season.

"I'd like to see that," Julien said after the Bruins optional morning skate. "He's certainly one of those guys that can skate, but you know if that doesn't work out we've got some other guys that can step up as well."

Marchand will miss games against the Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, and be eligible to return Wednesday at the Colorado Avalanche.

"They made their decision and I'm fine, I've got to live with that," Marchand said. "It could be worse, it could be three or four [games], so I've got to be happy that it's not. Hopefully the guys do well without me, and [I will] get back against Colorado."

Marchand, who leads the Bruins with 12 goals this season, said he was trying to make a hard hit and throw Rangers forward Derick Brassard backward, but didn't intend to kick the forward's feet out.

"I have been trying to play within the rules and change my game, I think that's pretty clear," Marchand said. "But again, I play a hard game and I'm going to do things that are questionable at times and I've got to live with it, and the way that they discipline me, I've got to live with that."

Boston and Columbus meet in the midst of polar opposite streaks: The Bruins (24-15-6) have won their past five games, while the Blue Jackets (18-21-3) have lost their past four. The Bruins and Blue Jackets have played twice this season, with Boston winning the first game 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 21, and Columbus winning 6-2 on Dec. 28.

The Blue Jackets come off a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Friday and did not hold a morning skate. Curtis McElhinney will get the start in goal.

Here are the projected lineups:


Scott Hartnell - Brandon Dubinsky - Josh Anderson

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Jeremy Morin

Matt Calvert - Alexander Wennberg - Cam Atkinson

Corey Tropp - Mark Letestu - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - David Savard

Kevin Connauton - James Wisniewski

Dalton Prout - Fedor Tyutin

Curtis McElhinney

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Cody Goloubef, Jordan Leopold, Sean Collins

Injured: Artem Anisimov (torn triceps), Brian Gibbons (knee), Nathan Horton (back), Boone Jenner (back), Ryan Murray (knee), Jack Skille (lower body)


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Jordan Caron - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Dennis Seidenberg - Adam McQuaid

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Niklas Svedberg

Scratched: Matt Bartkowski

Suspended: Brad Marchand

Injured: None

Status report: Caron, a scratch for the Bruins past three games, will likely replace Paille on the fourth line.

Who's hot: Hartnell has four points in his past five games and had the only Columbus goal against the Rangers. Foligno has six points in his past five games. … Rask made 30 saves Thursday for his second shutout of the season. Krug has seven assists in his last five games.

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