BOSTON (CBS) — No Patrice Bergeron. No Charlie McAvoy. No Tuukka Rask. No Problem.
Brad Marchand simply refuses to let the Bruins lose these days. For the second straight game, the little ball of hate scored the overtime game-winner for Boston, sending Bruins fans into delirium at the TD Garden.
Marchand’s game-winner Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings capped off the forward’s third career hat trick, upping his team-leading goal total to 28 on the season. He also chipped in with a pair of assists, giving him 66 points in 51 games.
Marchand’s first tally of the game was an incredible snipe from an awkward angle that gave Boston a 4-2 lead early in the second period. He put another in the back of the net roughly 10 minutes later to give Boston a 5-3 advantage.
But the B’s let that lead slip away and Boston fans got some extra hockey. It wasn’t much, as Marchand put a nasty backhand past Jimmy Howard just 34 seconds into overtime for the Bruns’ fourth straight victory.
“I was chuckling after the game because, you know, there he is, puck finds him,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. “I’ve got a lot of respect for the way he plays the game, the way he conducts himself as a person, as a pro, and we need it.”
Marchand was hoping defenseman Torey Krug would score the game-winner on their 3-on-2 rush, but instead cleaned up the mess to send everyone home happy. He praised his teammates after the game, saying they make the game easy for him.
“I play with good players,” Marchand told reporters after his performance. “So it makes it a lot easier when you’re playing with the guys I’m able to play with.”
It goes much further than that with Marchand though. The 5-foot-9 forward has a knack for coming up big in key situations for the Bruins, with Tuesday night’s game-winner the 11th regular-season overtime goal of his career — the most all-time in Bruins team history.
Not many imagined Marchand would turn into such a lethal offensive player when he first came into the league as a pesky fourth-liner. But he’s evolved into an all-around scoring threat, and an extremely important piece to the puzzle for the Bruins.
When asked about his career thus far, with 440 points to his name in 585 games, Marchand again deflected the adulation to his teammates.
“It’s what I wanted to push for, but a lot of it is based off opportunity,” he said. “I feel very fortunate that I’ve been put in this position. I’ve played with phenomenal players for a really long time now and they’re giving me a lot of opportunities. A lot of guys in that position have good years and good careers, so I’m just benefiting from that.”