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Brad Marchand comes up with big rebound night in Bruins win over Penguins 01.26.17 at 9:51 pm ET
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Bruins winger Brad Marchand kickstarted his team's comeback in a 3-2 win over the Penguins. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins winger Brad Marchand kickstarted his team’s comeback in a 4-3 win over the Penguins. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins winger Brad Marchand was lucky to have avoided a suspension for his reckless, unnecessary slewfoot of the Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall Tuesday night at TD Garden. And he knows it.

Off the hook with a $10,000 fine and more importantly able to play in tonight’s head-to-head against the Penguins, Marchand acknowledged his actions as stupidity, and made up for it in the best way possible: kickstarting the B’s comeback in true Marchand fashion in what finished as a 4-3 victory over the vaunted-yet-shorthanded Penguins.

“I think he needed to respond that way. I think it was important for him to respond that way. I’m going to be honest with you – we’re lucky that we didn’t lose him tonight,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the win. “Obviously he played a big part in our win and I respect the league and I respect their decisions sometimes and, but he’s been in trouble before and I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision. So, I’m going to stand here and say we’re lucky we had him tonight.”

With luck that could only fit this Bruins team, the Bruins were in an early hole when a Justin Schultz centering dish banked off Brandon Carlo and into the B’s net through Tuukka Rask. The Penguins skated to a 2-0 edge through the first period, too, when Phil Kessel pummeled a puck into a wide open cage (Rask was committed to Sidney Crosby’s side and with Patric Hornqvist in his grill) after a Carlo penalty for a power-play goal against. The Bruins also missed eight shots in the period, and it ended with Marchand limping off the ice and back to the locker room after a failed power-play opportunity.

It was a disaster.

It didn’t look like the second was going to go much better, especially when Adam McQuaid was called for a penalty 36 seconds in.

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Bruins look to go into All-Star break on winning note vs. Penguins 01.26.17 at 6:03 pm ET
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The Bruins are 0-1-1 against the Penguins this season. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins are 0-1-1 against the Penguins this season. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins are the walking wounded.

The good news is that there’s is light at the end of the tunnel for the Bruins, though, as tonight’s head-to-head against the Penguins is the club’s last game before their much needed All-Star break. The bad news, however, is that this game is against the Penguins.

In what’s been a historically strong matchup for the Black and Gold, the B’s have seen their luck against the Pens flip this season, as they have been largely unable to directly counter the Pens’ high-powered offensive attack in spite of gaudy shot totals (the Bruins put 44 shots on goal in their first game against the Pens and 45 on net in their second, which came this past Sunday). These games have served as a harsh reminder in regards to where these two franchises, whose last epic encounter came in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, are at now versus back then. The Bruins, a hardworking team with limited skill, will never quite match the offensive capabilities of the Penguins, who consistently roll four lines, at any point this season.

So, for the Bruins to beat the Penguins tonight and avoid a season sweep (something the Bruins did to the Penguins last season), they’re going to need more than luck. They’ll need a break. They will get just that, too, as both Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang will be out of action for the club. It’s also worth noting that Patric Hornqvist will be a gametime decision for the Penguins, too.

Still, the Bruins know the skill they’re up against in Mike Sullivan’s group.

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Jimmy Hayes working way back into action for Bruins 01.26.17 at 5:00 pm ET
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Jimmy Hayes is back in the lineup for the Bruins. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Hayes is back in the lineup for the Bruins. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

Year One in his backyard did not go as planned for Bruins forward and Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes. Year Two has not gone that much better. But when given the chance to return to the ice in game action, which Hayes was given Tuesday night against the Red Wings, a 4-3 overtime win for the B’s, the embattled winger made the most of it in his respective role.

Parked in front of the net in a first period that was all B’s, Hayes provided the perfect screen on Wings netminder Jared Coreau and allowed Kevan Miller to score his first goal of the year.

The effort did not go unnoticed.

“Well, you look at the first goal – if he’s not there, there’s no goal probably,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said Tuesday night. “[Hayes] did a great job and you know, he hasn’t played in a while. I saw a lot of great things, but I still saw a lot of things – those battles along the boards, getting pucks out. And their Ds were really aggressive tonight. They were on top of our wingers so we had to be extra strong. Other than that, give him credit.”

It wasn’t a perfect night, sure, but given the circumstances and his battles along the road, it’s a night the B’s will take.

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Bruins winger Brad Marchand dodges suspension, fined $10K for trip on Wings’ Kronwall 01.26.17 at 1:23 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

The Bruins will not have to worry about being down their biggest threat against the league’s top offensive group tonight against the Penguins, as winger Brad Marchand has avoided a suspension for his ‘dangerous trip’ against Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Instead, the NHL Department of Player Safety has slapped Marchand with a $10,000 fine.

B’s coach Claude Julien opted not to comment on the hit this morning (before word of a fine came down), and did not entertain the idea of the Bruins being unable to suit up for tonight’s game.

After a career-best 37 goals last season, the 28-year-old is once again paced for a career year, and has tallied 19 goals and 47 points in 51 games this season. Those 47 points are the most among NHL left wingers this season, and Marchand is one of six Bruins to have played in all 51 games this season.

The $10,000 fine is the maximum allowed for a repeat offender, under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.

It is the third fine of Marchand’s career (excluding those doled out during suspensions).

Admiral’s mailbag: Bruins need to start thinking about making significant move 01.26.17 at 8:28 am ET
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Don Sweeney. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Don Sweeney. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

It’s mailbag time. Questions can be sent to letitbleedrearad@gmail.com or @RearAdBsBlog ..

What kind of trade(s) do you expect the Bruins to make, if any at all? Danny, Everett, MA

I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but if the B’s are within spitting distance of the playoffs and want to add parts before the trade deadline, it’ll likely be the same thing: a bottom four D-man and/or a top-nine forward. The problem is the team needs a top-two D-man and top-six forward to really have an impact. Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles were decent adds last year but weren’t even enough to get the Bruins into the postseason.

Of course, if they pulled off a blockbuster, that would presumably change not only the team’s dynamic but its needs. However, it’s the Bs. So I’m not holding my breath. If they’re way out of it in a month, they should consider shedding contracts in what is always a seller’s market. And despite the rocky season, the Bruins have some very valuable commodities plenty of other teams would love to add for a playoff run.

The Islanders finally fired Jack Capuano are now playing their best hockey of the year. Will they get into the playoffs? Joe, Derry, NH

I think they will catch the Flyers for the fifth spot in the old Patrick Division (Metropolitan Division might be the worst name in league history). The Isles are five points back of Philly with three games in hand and the Flyers are a long way from their big winning streak. Meanwhile, the Isles look like night and day (and I’m sure Bruins fans have taken note). Even if they do catch the Flyers, they’ll also need to have more points for whatever Atlantic teams are still lurking for the 8th seed. The bet here says they pull it off.
Any off-the-wall predictions for the playoffs? Bruce, West Roxbury, MA

Dallas bites the bullet, trades for a #1 goalie, turns around their season, and goes on a hell of a run. It’s really the only thing that’s been holding them back. For years now.

Toronto knocks off at least two teams.

A franchise will win their first ever Cup this year.

What’s the verdict on THE YOUNG POPE? Liam, Needham, MA

Jude Law is mesmerizing in HBO’s fictional limited series about an abrasive, often rude American pope who throws the Vatican’s heavily political maneuverings for a loop. He’s ambiguous with his motives and the viewer is often wondering what he’s up to. THE YOUNG POPE was filmed in Italy and the cinematography is unreal. Throw in Diane Keaton and a stable of international stars and it you kind of have to at least give it a whirl.

But the best thing I watched on TV this week was the New Edition miniseries on the BET Network. The three-part, six-hour event is not one of these cheesy-ass Lifetime movies. It’s extremely well done with top-notch talent and shows a wildly entertaining, warts-and-all look at the Roxbury kids who became R&B legends. Definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re from Boston.

Bruins winger Brad Marchand to have disciplinary hearing for trip on Niklas Kronwall 01.25.17 at 4:44 pm ET
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Brad Marchand will have a hearing for his slewfoot against Niklas Kronwall. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Brad Marchand will have a hearing for his slewfoot against Niklas Kronwall. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Has an NHL player ever been suspended from an All-Star Game? Bruins winger Brad Marchand, one of two Bruins to be named to the this weekend’s All-Star weekend in L.A., may be the first to find out.

One day after Marchand proved instrumental in the B’s comeback win over the Red Wings, with a power-play goal and the game-tying goal midway through the third period of what finished as a 4-3 win, the NHL has notified Marchand that he will have a disciplinary hearing for his ‘dangerous trip’ on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

Also known as a slewfoot, the rather odd terminology of a ‘dangerous trip’ versus calling this a slewfoot makes sense considering the fact that this was not a true slewfoot if you consider the fact that Marchand does not also shove the player down in the process of tripping them.

No matter the term, it’s another instance where the B’s best winger, who has scored the most points among NHL left wingers this season (Marchand has 47 points in 51 games), has put himself back in the crosshairs of the NHL Department of Player Safety.

There’s no doubt that this was a sneaky dirty move from No. 63.

Aside from the giveaway of the immediate look back at Kronwall after he goes down, the play at the other end right before this hit involved an incident between Kronwall and Patrice Bergeron that left the B’s barking for a penalty against the Detroit defender. It’s also worth noting that Kronwall has missed 30 games since Feb. 2016 because of a knee injury (and another eight games because of a vague ‘lower-body’ ailment), which will not help Marchand in the court of public opinion.

But what will really matter for the Black and Gold winger is his reputation, which he has a hard time shedding, along with the history that’s earned him such a reputation. Marchand was suspended for two games in Jan. 2015 for a slewfoot on the Rangers’ Derick Brassard, was fined $5,000 in Nov. 2015 for a retaliatory punch against Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and was hit with a three-game ban and near $200,000 fine for a clipping against Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki last season.

That suspension caused Marchand, who hit 37 goals in 77 games a year ago, to miss the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.

Overall, the 28-year-old has suspended four times in his NHL career (and has been fined three times in total), with his longest suspension coming with a five-game ban for a clipping against the Canucks’ Sami Salo in Jan. 2012.

Marchand leads the Bruins with 47 points this season and is one of six Bruins skaters to have played in all 51 games to date.

Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask overcomes shaky start for overtime win 01.25.17 at 7:00 am ET
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Tuukka Rask stopped 23-of-26 shots for his 23rd win of the year Tuesday against the Red Wings. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tuukka Rask stopped 23-of-26 shots for his 23rd win of the year Tuesday against the Red Wings. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was pitching a shutout through the first half of the first period. Then the Red Wings’ Andreas Athanasiou put their first shot on net on Rask on a breakaway split through Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo, and the game was tied 1-1.

It was not how Rask, who pulled himself from the game in the second period of Sunday’s loss to the Penguins because of a migraine, pictured his return to the crease going in a 4-3 overtime win for the Bruins.

“You just try to stay as sharp as possible, but you look at it in the first period – you’re standing there for 15 minutes and don’t get a shot, and then all the sudden it’s a breakaway,” Rask said. “It’s not the ideal situation but – and then today again it seemed like every shot pretty much was a scoring chance again, and you just have to battle and find that battle element to your game and really try to stay sharp.”

Things didn’t necessarily get much better for the 29-year-old Rask, either, as the Red Wings scored two goals in under five minutes in the middle frame, including a real heinous one off Rask’s glove and into the net, which gave him an ugly stat line featuring just 10 stops on 13 shots against and a 3-2 deficit for the Black and Gold after 40 minutes of play.

But when the Bruins needed stops in the third period, especially when the game was tied, Rask came up big.

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