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Marchand expected to play in Qualifier opener for Bruins

Forward returns to practice after leaving exhibition game early

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

Brad Marchand is expected to play for the Boston Bruins in their first game of the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

The forward returned to practice Saturday after not playing the final 11 minutes in a 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, on Thursday.

"I would say the reason he left the other day won't preclude him from playing tomorrow," coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday. "He looked fine. I guess we'll -- you never know with those 3 o'clock games how it'll shake out. I'm sure he'll be ready to go. His minutes will be determined probably more about how he's playing. Obviously, if there's a lingering issue with an injury, then we keep an eye on it. But I think he's going to be 100 percent ready to go and play whatever's asked of him."

Marchand, who was second on the Bruins with 87 points (28 goals, 59 assists) this season, appeared to grimace in discomfort while killing a penalty with 11:54 remaining in the third period. He ended his final shift 14 seconds later.

Bruins president Cam Neely said Friday he had no update on Marchand's condition.

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness informatio

The Bruins will also play the Tampa Bay Lightning (Aug. 5) and Washington Capitals (Aug. 9) in the Qualifiers to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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