BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins almost suffered an embarrassing loss at home Monday night. Almost.
But Brad Marchand and Boston’s group of veteran leaders wouldn’t allow it.
Just about everything has been coming up black and gold so far this season, but that was in serious jeopardy Monday evening at TD Garden. The Bruins let a 3-0 lead over the Penguins slip away, with Pittsburgh tallying four straight goals in the second period. But the B’s didn’t fret during Pittsburgh’s offensive onslaught. When the period break came, the bevy of veterans spoke up, including Marchand.
Marchand helped set the tone in the B’s dressing room, and then let his game do the talking in the final frame. He already had two points from a first period goal and a second period helper, then added three more in the third period, lifting Boston to another victory — their most exciting one of the season.
Marchand first found Torey Krug with a one-timer to the right side of the net, and Krug fired it by Tristan Jarry for the equalizer. The game stayed that way until the final minutes, when Marchand found the back of the net with a beauty of his own. With 1:57 remaining, he surged down the wing and fired a wrister off Jarry. The puck slowly trickled by Pittsburgh’s backup, who had replaced Matt Murray in the second period, and the Bruins had a 5-4 lead.
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For good measure, Marchand added another helper on Patrice Bergeron’s tally with 14 seconds left, giving him a five-point evening in a thrilling 6-4 victory. His 18 assists lead everyone in the NHL, with his 28 points second to only teammate David Pastrnak’s 29 points this season.
As exciting as the outcome was, the Bruins are also going to use Monday night’s win as a valuable learning experience. They may be 11-1-2, but they are far from invincible.
“You want to try and learn something from every game, whether it’s good or bad, take the positives and the negatives and try to learn from both,” said Marchand. “We have to learn that when we get up, we can’t let a team crawl their way back in. We have to stay calm and focused all the way through the game. We have to play a full 60. We’ve been pretty good at that, but there’s always games that aren’t going to be your best and you have to find ways to win those games. At the end of the day, we did that.”
“Maybe we needed to be kicked in the ass a little and see how do our guys respond,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Do they sort it out themselves? Because we do have a veteran group. We rely on the leadership group, so clearly, they did between periods. They said some good things in there about how they want to play more our style of game, and we got ourselves back into it.”
Marchand extended his point streak to 13 games with his five-point explosion. He was certainly proud of his big night — his second five-point effort of the season — but he was even happier that his team pulled out the victory.
“They’re nice but we don’t dwell on them,” he said. “You’re going to have good nights and bad nights, you just try to stay even keeled all the time. At this point now, it doesn’t matter in this room who has a good night. As long as we win we’re going to be happy.”
Marchand the Bruins look to keep their torrid start going Tuesday night when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.