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Aaron Ward will be in Bruins lineup for Game 6

RALEIGH, N.C. — Though it isn’t much of a surprise given that the Bruins didn’t fly an extra defenseman down to Raleigh with them, Boston Bruins [1] defenseman Aaron Ward [2] will suit up and play for the B’s in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Carolina Hurricanes [3].

The B’s mentioned in the minutes following Sunday night’s Game 6 in Boston that Ward might have suffered a fractured orbital bone following a “sucker punch” from Hurricanes forward Scott Walker [4] in the final minutes of the third period, and Walker was fined $2500 by the NHL [5] for the transgression.

But, according to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli during an interview this morning on WEEI 850’s Dale and Holley show, Ward may actually only aggravated a prior orbital injury to his left eye¬†and he’s expected to play without limitations and without any kind of protective face shield for the 35-year-old blue line battle horse.

“I haven’t worn (a visor) in 16 years,” said Ward. “I’m not going to start now.”

The one real byproduct of the Game 5 fireworks are the introduction of the physical element and the passionate “hockey hate” to a series that had been largely known as Nice Guy Hockey since the drop of the puck in Game 1. The switch to a physical, heated tone is something that favors the Bruins in the series, and it’s a Pandora’s Box that the Hurricanes may regret that they’ve opened if they can’t close out Boston Tuesday night at the RBC Center.