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Marchand faces hearing

Clip of Salo will be reviewed by league

By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / January 9, 2012
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To Brad Marchand, it was punishment enough that he earned a clipping penalty, was tossed from Saturday’s game in the second period, and watched as the Canucks scored two goals during his five-minute major and beat the Bruins, 4-3.

The league may see otherwise.

Today, Marchand will participate in a disciplinary hearing on the phone with NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan. The call will determine whether Marchand will face supplemental discipline for the hit, which resulted in a concussion for Sami Salo, according to Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis.

Because the hearing is on the phone, any suspension will be five games or fewer.

According to Marchand, both players were chasing the puck, which had rolled around the boards. They had traded hits earlier in the shift. As Marchand saw Salo approaching from his right, he ducked and initiated contact. Marchand wiped out Salo, who sailed into the air and landed hard, absorbing most of the impact on the back of his head and neck.

“You look up and you see a guy who’s 6 foot 4, 6 foot 5 coming in on you,’’ Marchand said yesterday during a charity event at TD Garden. “Your instincts are to protect yourself. Very unfortunate that he was hurt on the play.’’

Salo didn’t return after the incident. He missed the Canucks’ practice yesterday and his status is undetermined.

“A dirty play by a dirty player,’’ Gillis, referring to Marchand, told the Vancouver Province.

Marchand is third on the team in scoring (16-16-32). He has thrown such hits before. Last year during the Stanley Cup Final, Marchand upended Daniel Sedin. He was not penalized then.

This time, Marchand believed his point of contact was above Salo’s knees.

“I did go under him,’’ Marchand said. “But I felt the base contact was about his hip point. That’s usually a pretty legal hit from what I’ve seen in the past. I have no idea how the league feels about it. I guess we’ll see.’’

Marchand is a repeat offender. He was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen on Dec. 5, but he was not suspended.

On March 15, 2010, Marchand elbowed Columbus’s R.J. Umberger in the back of the head. He wasn’t penalized during the game, but a day later, Marchand was tagged with a two-game suspension.

Marchand said if he is suspended, he will not throw such hits in the future.

“I’ve done that a lot in the past,’’ Marchand said of his maneuver on Salo. “I’ve done it a few times this year. I did it a few times last year in the Cup Final. I’ve never been punished for it before. Just a different outcome on this one. It depends on how the league rules it. If that’s an illegal hit, then yeah, I’ll take that out of my game. From how I’ve been playing so far and different hits that have occurred, I haven’t been punished before. Nobody’s told me that’s an illegal way to protect myself. Until I’m told otherwise, I don’t really know how to react in that situation.’’

If Marchand is suspended, Benoit Pouliot most likely will take his spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Zach Hamill, a healthy scratch against the Canucks, would skate on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. The Bruins could recall Jordan Caron as a spare forward.

Saturday marked the first game back for Marchand. The left wing sat out Thursday night’s 9-0 thumping of Calgary because of flu-like symptoms.

At 14:57 of the first period, Marchand tied the game at 1 after he tapped in a Seguin pass. As usual, Marchand killed penalties alongside Bergeron. Because of Milan Lucic’s early heave-ho - an errant ejection, given the retraction of the game misconduct following the loss - Marchand saw power-play time on the second unit.

But Marchand’s untimely penalty led to a pair of power-play goals, including the game-winner. At 19:47 of the second, Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead. At 1:09 of the third, Cody Hodgson blasted a slap shot past Tim Thomas to make it a 4-2 game.

The Bruins had to finish the game without their top two left wings.

“I felt really bad,’’ Marchand said. “In a game like that, you want to be a part of it. It’s a big game for our team and for our city. A very close game. You want to be in those. Already being down a guy, I put our team down again with a five-minute penalty. It ended up costing us the game with two goals on it. We weren’t able to come back from that. It was tough.’’

The Bruins didn’t skate yesterday. They will practice this morning at 10:30 at Ristuccia Arena in preparation for tomorrow’s game against Winnipeg. In their last meeting, Dec. 6 at MTS Centre, the Jets halted the Bruins’ 15-game streak without a regulation loss. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 39 shots in a 2-1 Winnipeg win. The Bruins were without Seguin that night; he was benched for missing a team breakfast and meeting earlier that day.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at fshinzawa@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeFluto.

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