BRUINS AT MAPLE LEAFS | 7 P.M.(NESN)
john tlumacki/globe staff file
TORONTO — Brad Marchand, who has been out the last two games, will be back in the Bruins lineup Friday, paired with usual running mates Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, for the game against the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Coach Bruce Cassidy hinted Thursday that Marchand was dealing with a concussion, noting that the veteran left winger was in “protocol.”
Following the morning day-of-game skate here, Marchand would not specify the nature of his injury, even when asked specifically about returning from a concussion.
“Marshy’s one of our best players and one of the best players in the NHL,” said Cassidy. “Always great to have him back.”
Khudobin gets the call
Anton Khudobin will be in net for the Bruins, his first action since a win in San Jose Oct. 26. The affable “Doby” was injured soon after the club returned from that road trip, and the backup duty was handled by Zane McIntyre.
“He’s given us a chance to win every night,” said Cassidy. “The San Jose game was his best; he was the difference in the game. He’s been rock-solid. At the end of the day, he’s always been there at the end. He’s been good for us.”
Acciari in the lineup
Noel Acciari, out since requiring surgery to repair a finger he broke on opening night Oct. 5, will return to action, a move likely to bump Frank Vatrano back to the press box.
“Good to be back with the guys, a long time coming,” said Acciari, the former Providence College standout.
Acciari broke the finger in an attempt to block a Nashville shot.
“I tried to grip my stick after [getting hit] and I knew something was wrong,” explained Acciari. “I didn’t know whether it was a finger, a wrist, a knuckle, or whatever it was, but something didn’t feel right, that’s for sure. A shooting pain right up my arm.”
In a short time, Acciari has built a reputation for being one of the fiercest hitters in the game.
“He’s a little bit underappreciated,” said Cassidy. “Not from our standpoint, but maybe around the NHL. He’s a hard-nosed guy that can set the tempo for us physically. We missed him and [David] Backes. So his presence is welcomed back in the lineup.”
Being nosy gets them nowhere
The art of trash talk, of which Marchand is a lead purveyor, demands that those who dish it out be able to take it, too.
To that end, Pastrnak has witnessed opposing players try to get at Marchand by insulting the Li’l Ball o’Hate about his, shall we say, prominent nose.
“All players think they are going to get him on his nose,” said Pastrnak. “But it’ll never work. He doesn’t care about it. He’ll always have an answer for it. So, pretty tough.”
■ When, where: Friday, 7 p.m., at Air Canada Centre, Toronto.
■ TV, radio: NESN, WBZ-FM 98.5.
■ Goals: Auston Matthews 10, Nazem Kadri 9, Connor Brown 7.
■ Assists: Morgan Rielly 11, William Nylander 10, Matthews 9, Ron Hainsey 9.
■ Goaltending: Frederik Andersen (9-6-0, 3.33 GAA), Curtis McElhinney (1-1-0, 4.10 GAA).
■ Head to head: This is the first of four meetings. Toronto won all four games last season.
■ Miscellany: Boston will host Toronto Saturday in the second half of the home-and-home set . . . Toronto leads the NHL in goals with 65 but is second-worst in goals allowed with 60 . . . Leading scorer Matthews was held out of Wednesday’s win over Minnesota with upper-body soreness. He is day-to-day.
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