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Brad Marchand eager to return to Bruins

Will be in lineup in Game 1 of playoffs against Senators after serving two-game suspension

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is eager to return to the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, SN, TVA Sports 2, NESN).

Marchand missed the final two games of the regular season because of a suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin on April 4.

"Just get back at it and try to keep things simple early on," Marchand said after practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday. "I think we're all going to have to do that. It's going to be a very high pace, especially the first couple of games. And then just go from there."

The Bruins went 0-1-1 without Marchand and finished tied for third place in the Atlantic Division with the Toronto Maple Leafs with 95 points. Boston won the tiebreaker with Toronto based on the first tie-breaker of regulation/overtime wins (42-39).

"I'm happy to have Brad back," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. "He's a big, big part of the team and why we're here. And I'm sure he'll be excited and well rested."

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Marchand set career highs and led the Bruins in goals (39) and points (85). He tied for fourth in the League in goals and was fifth in scoring. Marchand had one goal and one assist in three games against the Senators, who swept the four-game series and outscored the Bruins 11-5 in the regular season.

Marchand's speed and creativity could be keys to the Bruins defeating the Senators, but he knows he can't play with reckless abandon or try to do too much.

"That's where they thrive is turnovers," Marchand said. "Their system is basically to try to clog up the neutral zone, get turnovers and kind of go from there. So you do have to be very aware of how you play with the puck and where you play with it. You have to take care of it a lot more against this team so we're all going to have to do that and hopefully we'll see where it goes."

As a rookie, Marchand had 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 25 games during the Bruins' run to the 2011 Stanley Cup. Subsequent trips to the playoffs, however, haven't gone as well for Marchand. He has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in his past 34 postseason games, including no goals and five assists in 12 games in 2014.

"Ottawa's a very tough team and we're all going to have to be great. I don't think anything's going to be different than in the past. You go out there and try to do your best and try to compete with that team," Marchand said. "So that's what I'm going to try to do it is work my hardest and hopefully things go well."

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