Brad Marchand injury: Bruins captain will travel to Florida, status unclear for Game 5

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Brad Marchand was injured after Sam Bennett punched him during an on-ice collision in Game 3.

Brad Marchand was injured off a punch from Sam Bennett in Game 3. Photo by Matthew J Lee/Globe Staff

BEDFORD — It remains to be seen if the Bruins will have their captain available on Tuesday as they try to stave off elimination at the hands of the Florida Panthers.

Before the Bruins jetted off for South Florida on Monday afternoon, Don Sweeney offered up a brief update about the status of Brad Marchand, who was ruled out for Game 4 due to an upper-body injury.

“Brad skated today,” Sweeney said. “He’ll travel with the team, he’s still day to day and hopefully continues — guys gotta give him a chance.”

Marchand making the trek to Sunrise stands as a step in the right direction. The rest of his teammates needing to “give him a chance” could signal that the Bruins might have to win Game 5 and return to Boston to give the 36-year-old winger enough time to get cleared for game action. 

Marchand was injured during Game 3 of Boston’s second-round series against Florida after getting punched in the face during an on-ice collision with Panthers forward Sam Bennett. 

No penalties were assessed on the play, nor did Bennett receive any supplemental discipline from the league following Marchand’s injury.

Marchand, who struggled to get back on his skates after his collision with Bennett, only played 10:51 of ice time on Friday and did not return in the third period of Boston’s Game 3 loss.

A new camera angle released Sunday evening of the collision between Bennett and Marchand in Game 3 offered clear evidence that it was Bennett’s punch that dropped the Bruins forward to the ice — rather than a heavy reverse hit. 

Speaking after Florida’s Game 4 win on Sunday, Bennett defended his collision with Marchand. 

“On that play, obviously I’m not trying to punch him in the head like everyone’s saying,” Bennett told the NHL on TNT crew on Sunday. “Other people can have different opinions. I’m just bracing myself for him coming to hit me. There’s no way I would have had time to think about punching him in the head. People can see it however they want.

“It’s playoff hockey. There are going to be hard plays. Obviously, it’s unfortunate he got hit, but that’s just a hockey play in my mind.”

The Bruins travel back down to Florida to face off against the Panthers in Game 5 on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The return of Marchand — who leads Boston in playoff scoring with 10 points over 10 games — would provide a major lift for a desperate Boston roster. 

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