Marchand-less Bruins ready for best shot from Jets

Pouliot/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — The Bruins have had their hands full, and even suffered one loss, in their two prior games with Winnipeg.

So tonight should present them with a tough task at the TD Garden, as the Bruins will be without winger Brad Marchand for the first night of his five-game suspension for clipping Vancouver’s Sami Salo.

The Bruins beat the Jets 4-2 with an empty-net goal providing the final margin in the teams’ first meeting, and then Winnipeg got revenge, 2-1, in Manitoba.

“Because they’re a good team – I’m not just saying that,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien when asked about the Jets giving the Bruins a hard time this season. “I think they’re a team that works hard and they compete hard, and I think Claude [Noel] got them playing really well and they seemed to have bought in what he’s trying to do. But at the same time, they got some good players on that team. Sometimes it probably gets overlooked because where they came from – they weren’t getting the same people who weren’t seeing them as much as they are now, and the visibility of that club has improved a lot and people have been paying attention. I don’t think we’ve ever take them lightly, and we certainly won’t tonight.”

Expect Benoit Pouliot to replace Marchand on Patrice Bergeron’s line with Zach Hamill replacing Pouliot on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.

Marchand today responded to the five-game ban. You can read about his comments at NHL.com. Marchand also responded to the comments by Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault that the Bruins winger would “get his” down the road.

“They are threatening. It sounds like it’s a threat. But, whatever,” said Marchand.

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