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At the Rink: Bruins at Coyotes

by Jerry Brown / NHL.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand will return to the lineup against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A, NESN ) after missing two games with a concussion.

Marchand will replace Joe Connolly, who will sit as a healthy scratch according to coach Claude Julien.

"It's always tough when you have to watch... so happy the day’s finally here and looking forward to playing tonight," Marchand said in comments tweeted by the Bruins.

The Bruins (1-3-0) defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 on Thursday following an 0-3-0 homestand. Boston has allowed 18 goals in its first four games, and Tuuka Rask, seeking his first win will be in net.

After stopping 104 of 106 shots in three wins, Arizona goalie Mike Smith, who will start, was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 17 shots against the Wild.

The Coyotes could be without rookie forward Jordan Martinook who sustained a lower-body injury during a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. He didn't to take part in the morning skate and is unlikely to play. Either Joe Vitale or John Scott could draw into the lineup if Martinook, can't play.

Antoine Vermette who left the game Wednesday with a lower-body injury in the second period, was on the ice in his usual spot and will play against the Bruins.

The Coyotes made some tweaks to their defense as well. Zbynek Michalek will be paired with Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the first time this season, with Michael Stone dropping down to the second pairing alongside Klas Dahlbeck.

Ekman-Larsson has one point this season.

“I think we have to get him more focused on the hard parts of the game.” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said Saturday.

Ekman-Larsson is a big part of the struggling Coyotes power play, which has scored once in 21 opportunities in the first four games while allowing a shorthanded goal to Minnesota.

Eight of the 13 goals scored by the Coyotes (3-1-0) have been by rookies. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair have six points each, tied for the lead among NHL rookies, and each scored in a 4-3 loss against the Minnesota Wild Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups.

BRUINS

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Loui Eriksson

Matt Beleskey -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Chris Kelly -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Zac Rinaldo -- Joonas Kemppainen -- Max Talbot

Zdeno Chara -- Kevan Miller

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Zach Trotman-- Colin Miller/Tommy Cross

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Illness: Joe Morrow (flu)

Scratched: Brett Connolly, Tyler Randell

COYOTES

Max Domi - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Tobias Rieder - Martin Hanzal - Anthony Duclair

Kyle Chipchura - Brad Richardson - Shane Doan

Joe Vitale - Boyd Gordon - Steve Downie

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Nicklas Grossman - Michael Stone

Klas DahlbeckConnor Murphy

Mike Smith

Anders Lindback

Injured: Jordan Martinook

Scratched: Stefan Elliott, John Scott

Status report: With Marchand returning, Connolly goes from the first line to a scratch. … If either Vitale or Scott play in place of Martinook, it will be their first game of the season.

Who's hot: Linemates Duclair (three goals, six points) and Hanzal (seven assists) have four-game point streaks to begin the season. … Marchand had three goals in two games against the Coyotes last season.

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