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Bruins need to find replacements for all the roles the injured Brad Marchand plays

Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway drives Bruin Brad Marchand into the boards Thursday with a hit from behind.Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy had to assess the damage left behind after a pair of jarring hits — one clean, one debatable — knocked Brad Marchand and Anton Blidh out of the team’s win Thursday over the Washington Capitals and will keep them off the ice tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets.

Marchand was smashed into the boards from behind by Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway and could be seen wincing and favoring his right shoulder as he tried to push through it to no avail. Blidh was rocked in the open ice by the Capitals right wing Tom Wilson.


Cassidy, who made clear following the game his displeasure with Hathaway’s hit, didn’t want to rehash the incidents as the Bruins moved ahead.

“They play hard,” Cassidy said. “I’m not going to comment necessarily on the team. So there’s a couple hard hits last night. We were on the receiving end of a couple of them and we had a couple of good ones. So they’re usually physical games against Washington. I told you I don’t like the hit when it’s in the numbers and from behind and close to the boards. We spoke about the Wilson one. He was looking Anton in the eye. Those are the hits to me that are more acceptable in hockey when you’re hitting the guy looking straight at him and if your elbows are down.

“So I don’t like those ones from behind, into the boards at any age or any league. So I’ve said my piece on that. Unfortunately, Brad’s going to miss a little bit of time. And that’s the end of it from from our end. I have no idea if the league will look at it or not, but we’re off to thinking about Winnipeg now and obviously the next time we play Washington, you’ve just got to be a little more on your toes.”


When Marchand went down, Jake DeBrusk moved from the third line to the top line and Cassidy liked what he saw, particularly when DeBrusk was matched against Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. DeBrusk scored his sixth goal of the season in the third period and assisted on the game winner.

“Jake did a good job replacing the offensive part of it,” Cassidy said. “Had some plays, had a nice play on the power play ... [He] did what we asked of him. Now you’re playing against the other team’s top pair a lot of times or at least top four. You’re playing against good players, so make sure your defensive habits aren’t lost and contribute offensively. So he’ll get his opportunity and hopefully it works out well for us.”

With Marchand and Blidh out, the Bruins are down two left wingers. Oskar Steen, a right wing, is with the team. Nick Foligno, who returned Thursday after missing five games with a lower-body injury, can play either side. Steven Fogarty also was called up from AHL Providence.

“At the end of the day, we’ll have to make sure we sort through it that we’ve got guys in the appropriate position.”

Marchand wears so many hats for the Bruins that filling the void will have to be done by committee. DeBrusk will take on some of Marchand’s power play and penalty kill duties as well, Cassidy said. Some of Marchand’s minutes might also go to Taylor Hall.


“I think the mentality has to be you can’t be Brad Marchand,” Cassidy said. “He plays in every situation, he’s an elite player in this league, lots of accolades surround him. So just go and be the best version of yourself with those minutes.”

The sight of Nick Foligno’s leg getting tangled with Tampa Bay Lightning defender Callan Foote in the first period of the Bruins’ win on Jan. 8 was enough to know it was bad.

The question was how bad.

After missing five games and returning to the ice Thursday, Foligno was grateful it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.

“For as unlucky as this year’s been with some of the injuries and things, I felt like it could have been a lot worse,” Foligno said. “So in a weird way, I felt lucky it was only a couple of weeks and I’m back out there with the guys. That’s that’s where I want to be.”

Foligno delivered three hits over 18 shifts in 15 minutes of action against the Capitals, once again getting back into the swing of things in a season of starts and stops. He missed eight games after suffering an upper-body injury in a loss to the Flyers in October. He returned in November only to have COVID-19 bring the league to a standstill a month later. He scored his first goal when the Bruins restarted on New Year’s Day, then suffered the leg injury a week later.


“Obviously this year isn’t been fun for me just in the breaks of the season — getting going, injury, then COVID comes along, break, felt like I kind of came out of that with the right mind-set and it was getting going and then all of a sudden another [injury]. So just got to stick with it and find a way to contribute and looking forward to getting back and getting reps again and getting acclimated with the guys.”

John Moore (upper body) practiced Friday. He’s missed the past four games.

Julian Benbow can be reached at julian.benbow@globe.com.