Brad Marchand was the central figure in two Bruins rallies in thier 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night at the TD Garden.
Marchand scored two goal,s including the game winner, along with three assists for his second five-point game of the season. He extended his assist streak to 12 games and points streak to 13, a stretch featuring 10 goals with 18 assists.
“There are nights and this was one of them but you are going to have good nights and you are going to have bad nights,” said Marchand. “You just try to stay even keeled all the time and at this point, it doesn’t matter in this room who has the good night as long as we win.
“They are fun but you don’t expect them to come often, but they definitely make a difference.”
The Bruins appeared in for an easy undertaking when they jumped to a 3-0 lead early in the second period. Jake DeBrusk opened the initial Bruins rally with an unassisted tally at 5:24 of the first.
Marchand put Boston up 2-0 at 13:05 on a goal that looked more like batting practice over at Fenway. Zdeno Chara made a strong play along the boards to keep the puck in the zone and fed David Pastrnak down low, drawing Penguins’ goalie Matt Murray to the near post.
Pastrnak’s feed across the crease was tipped high and floated like a knuckleball just as Marchand emerged from the low slot. Marchand swatted the puck with the lower blade and it sailed past Murray.
Marchand made a pass across the neutral zone to Pastrnak, who ripped it by Murray from the top of the left circle to put Boston up 3-0 at 4:22 of the second.
“You see it go up there and you just start whacking away,” said Marchand. “There are nights when that happens, you get lucky and we’ll take it.”
The Bruins early onslaught created a false sense of security that came crashing down around them for the remainder of the middle frame. The Penguins retaliated with four unanswered goals on beleaguered Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak to take a 4-3 lead into the third period. The Penguins took advantage of Bruins lapses in the neutral zone and scored three of their four tallies on breakaways.
“We weren’t managing the puck too well and turning it over way too much, especially against a team like that,” said Marchand.
Marchand started the Bruins third period rally during a four-on-four situation. He made a strong play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone and located Torey Krug below the right circle. Krug one-timed Marchand’s feed from a bad angle and tied the game 4-4 at 8:14.
Marchand put Boston ahead at 18:03 on a play that began with a forced a turnover in the neutral zone. He crossed the blue and fired a shot from the top of the right circle that hit the far post. Murray inadvertently back swiped the loose puck into his own net to assist on Marchand’s 10th of the season.
“I knew it hit the post and everyone started cheering so I thought it was in,” said Marchand. “But when I circled the net I saw it was still bouncing around in there but it was one of those lucky plays that bounces your way.”
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