SUNRISE, Fla. — Brad Marchand looked especially short as he tried to buck up his Bruins teammates as they headed for the ice.

With him in shoes and them on skates, his already small stature stood out that much more when they traded shoulder bumps to psyche each other up before the game. But only his height was small. The Bruins captain’s leadership and personality remained outsized.

Marchand wasn’t cleared to play in Game 5 against the Florida Panthers, but he tried to still be a leader though he wasn’t on the ice. He gave a pregame speech and was in the locker room between periods. Charlie McAvoy said extending the series so Marchand could return added additional motivation to win.

“Having him around is awesome in any capacity. His presence means a lot for us,” McAvoy said. “Everything he carries and everything he means to the team. He was in there during the game constantly giving us love and giving us positivity. … We know what he means to this team. We wanted to bring this back to Boston and hopefully give him a chance to get back.”

Marchand hasn’t played since the second period of Game 3 when Sam Bennett hit him in the head. He’s missed Game 4 and 5 with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

The Bruins hung his No. 63 jersey in his locker to symbolically keep Marchand with them even though he wasn’t on the ice.


“For a professional athlete, it’s not fun to watch your team go through the battle,” David Pastrnak said. “He came in every period and gave a little speech. He was there for us. We want to get him back in the series and keep extending the series.”

Coach Jim Montgomery wasn’t sure if Marchand would be back from Game 6 on Friday. The extra day between games could help his chances.

“He has steps that he has to do before we think he’s going to be a full-time player,” he said. “We’re going to take it day by day.”

BOSTON COACH Jim Montgomery wasn’t playing charades, although his gesticulations suggested he might be pretty good at it.

With 7:36 left in the second period after Mason Lohrei was called for a hooking penalty in the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Panthers in Game 5, Montgomery suggested the Panthers may have been playing up their severity of the moment.

TV Cameras caught him pantomiming a Triple Lindy or some other diving gesture suggesting Eetu Luostarinen had been doing a little acting. Florida had been called for an embellishment penalty earlier in the game. They’d catch him gesturing again later in the game.


After the game, Montgomery was sympathetic and not critical of the officials.

“In the league in general, the embellishment is going up. Players are getting better and better at grabbing their heads, snapping their heads back. Getting hooked and going with the hook. When I was growing up Billy Barber was the guy, who was best known for it and drew a lot of penalties for it,” he said. “It makes it hard on the refs. You don’t know if the guy was really high stuck or trying to get a call.”

AFTER THE BRUINS had another anemic night on the power play, Montgomery admitted it might be time for a rest.

The Bruins are 1 for 14 in the series with a man advantage including 0 for 3 on Tuesday. Boston managed just three shots on the three power plays in its Game 5 win over Florida.

“I don’t think our guys are buying in to what we’re trying to sell on the power play,” Montgomery said. “We just have to have a healthy meeting where we hash things out about what are you seeing? What do you think the plan could be then we just have to talk it out to make it better.”

The Bruins were 6 for 13 on the power play in the first four games against Toronto but then 0 for 4 in Games 5-7. They found success early by splitting their best power play unit into two separate combinations, but that has fallen off.

The Bruins have also been without Marchand, a power-play staple for the last 13 years, for Games 4 and 5 against Florida.

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