Brad Marchand Misses Practice, Opening Door for Possibility of Brian McGrattan’s Bruins Debut

WILMINGTON, Mass. — Fresh off their fourth-straight win on Thursday, the Bruins got right back to work on Friday morning at Ristuccia Arena.

One Bruin was missing though, as forward Brad Marchand did not skate after taking an Alex Ovechkin shot off the leg in Thursday's game. He hobbled to the locker room but returned to finish the contest, and Friday's day off was more of a precautionary move.

"He's fine," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "That was a maintenance day regarding that [shot block]. He could've [practiced], but our trainers felt he would be much better [on Saturday] if he stayed off today."

Marchand has been a key performer on Boston's fourth line this season, as that unit has been effective creating both energy and scoring chances.

With Marchand missing, Daniel Paille donned a maroon jersey and skated with the fourth line in practice. Paille, a healthy scratch the last four games, had previously skated with the third line of Tyler Seguin, Mark Recchi and Michael Ryder in practice.

If Marchand can't play Saturday against the Rangers, it's not a certainty that Paille would get back into the lineup. Enforcer Brian McGrattan is also waiting patiently to play his first game as a Bruin, and he also skated with fourth-line regulars Greg Campbell and Shawn Thornton in practice.

With New York bringing massive tough guy Derek Boogaard — all 6-foot-7, 260 pounds of him — to town on Saturday, this is one of those games where McGrattan's presence could be valuable. 

"No word yet," said McGrattan, a 6-foot-4, 234-pounder who has battled Boogaard several times in the past. "It's the same as every day,  just stay ready and do what I can do to be ready. If I get the call to go, I will be ready."

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