The Bruins are in the playoffs, but still have a big game with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday that could go a long way in determining playoff seeding, opponents and home-ice advantage.

There’s a good chance, however, that Bruins forward Brad Marchand will not be there to aid the cause.

The NHL Department of Player Safety tweeted Wednesday that Marchand will have a hearing Thursday for the spear he delivered to the groin of Tampa Bay’s Jake Dotchin in the Bruins’ 4-0 victory Tuesday night.

The Bruins have their fingers crossed that Marchand will not be suspended, although Coach Bruce Cassidy has to prepare for the possibility he will be.

“We’ll put (adjusted) lines together in our heads, I guess,” said Cassidy. “I don’t know how it’ll play out tomorrow. That’s out of my pay grade.”

After being on the receiving end of a stick shot by Dotchin in front of the Lightning net, Marchand delivered a pretty nasty shot of his own to the defenseman. Dotchin collapsed immediately in pain. Marchand was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. Dotchin left the ice but later returned.

Given Marchand’s history – three previous suspensions and a handful of fines – the Boston winger could be looking at some time on the sidelines.

SABRES: Forward Kyle Okposo has spent the past three days in the neuro surgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital undergoing tests to determine an illness that has sidelined him for more than a week, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

PENGUINS: Defenseman Kris Letang is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and will be out four to six months.

The 29-year-old hasn’t played since Feb. 21. Treatment plateaued last week and Letang underwent a second MRI, leading doctors to recommend surgery.


SABRES 2, CANADIENS 1: Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyler Ennis scored, Robin Lehner stopped 31 shots, and Buffalo closed its home schedule by snapping Montreal’s five-game winning streak.

CAPITALS 2, RANGERS 0: Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored and host Washington wrapped up its second straight Presidents’ Trophy.