Brad Marchand, the star Boston left winger who was injured in an exhibition game Thursday, was able to practice Saturday and will play against the Flyers in a round-robin opener Sunday afternoon.
“I’m sure he’ll be ready to go,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday, adding he thought Marchand (28 goals, 87 points in 70 games this season) would be 100 percent.
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But another Bruins standout, goalie Tuukka Rask, may be sidelined Sunday.
Rask was ill and missed practice Saturday and his status for Sunday’s 3 p.m. game is unknown, Cassidy said.
“I’ll have to talk with Tuukka and see where he’s at,” Cassidy said. If Rask can’t play, Jaroslav Halak “will be ready to go,” he added.
Flyers center Kevin Hayes downplayed the Bruins possibly using their backup goalie.
“It’s playoff time. I don’t think it matters what your opponent does, and it’s more what your team does and how you prepare and what you do to get ready for the game,” Hayes said. “I know in our locker room we’re really focused on what we’re going to bring to the game and the system we’re going to play and the effort we’re going to give.”
Rask, 33, had a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage this season, and he blanked the Flyers, 2-0, in his only appearance against them. He has a 15-2-4 career record against them with a 1.94 GAA and .934 save percentage.
Halak, 35, has a 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage this season, but he lost both games against the Flyers this season in shootouts and had a 3.23 GAA and .897 save percentage in those matchups.
Based on Saturday’s practice, here is the lineup the Flyers will use Sunday:
Lines: Sean Couturier centering Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek; Hayes centering Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny; Derek Grant centering James van Riemsdyk and Nic Aube-Kubel; Nate Thompson centering Michael Raffl and Tyler Pitlick.
Defense: Ivan Provorov and Matt Niskanen; Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers; Robert Hagg and Justin Braun.
Goalie: Carter Hart.
The Bruins had one of the NHL’s best special teams this season, finishing second in the league on the power play (25.2 percent success rate) and third on the penalty kill (84.3 percent).
The Flyers’ special teams excelled in the latter part of the season. Overall, they finished 14th on the power play (20.8 percent) and 11th (81.8 percent) on the penalty kill.
In their three meetings this season, the Flyers’ power play went 1 for 8 against Boston. The Bruins’ PP was 2 for 7 in those three games.