Talking Points: Bruins get win in return from bye week
Brad Marchand buried the puck when the Bruins absolutely needed it. It was a brilliant defensive zone face-off play where Patrice Bergeron won the draw, worked it to Torey Krug for a long, stretch saucer pass to Marchand as he was blowing the zone and then all watched as Marchand put a double move on Martin Jones before sliding the puck five hole. It continues a hot stretch of offense for Marchand over the last six weeks, and it gave the Bruins an unlikely win coming out of the five day bye week where they clearly came ready to play. With the goal Marchand also pulled back into a tie with David Pastrnak for the team lead with 25 goals on the season, and continues to be a money player in clutch moments for the Black and Gold.
No shots on net and a minus-1 for Jumbo Joe Thornton, who appeared pretty invisible for long stretches of the game on the second night of back-to-back games with travel. In general Thornton has not been very aggressive looking for his own shot anyway and he was okay (7-for-12) in the face-off circle and with puck possession in the offensive zone. The Sharks needed more from guys like Thornton if they were going to be able to get two points vs. Boston on Sunday night. Instead they got a passenger effort from Jumbo while Brent Burns tried to will the Sharks to victory, and it didn’t end up being enough.
The Bruins managed to get through a merely okay second period and a pretty good third period to get to the extra session, and at least get the overtime point they needed to get back into the playoff structure. Then they went for it all, dominating long stretches of the overtime session before the Patrice Bergeron face-off win in the D-zone led to a Brad Marchand breakaway goal. The Bruins push back into third place in the Atlantic Division with the two point overtime win. It wasn’t a perfect win for the Black and Gold, but give them a lot of credit for grinding it out in the first game back for the bye and hanging in for the overtime win.
Tuukka Rask made 29 stops and stepped up to play as close to perfect hockey as the Bruins are going to need from him if they’re going to have success down the stretch. The only goal to beat him was a 4-on-4 play where a Brent Burns point shot deflected off Torey Krug directly to a wide open Patrick Marleau crashing toward the net. Marleau scored for San Jose’s only goal of the game, and Rask was able to play shutdown hockey for the rest of the game while the Bruins scraped and clawed their way to the overtime victory. San Jose didn’t have a ton of Grade-A chances on Rask, but he stopped the ones he did face without much of a problem.
BY THE NUMBERS
4-12-4 – the record for NHL teams coming off the five day “bye week” after the Bruins took their 2-1 overtime victory over the Sharks on Sunday night.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“With five days off it’s not easy to come in here and feel good, but we battled hard. It wasn’t always pretty, but we got the two points and that’s all that matters.” – Brad Marchand, to reporters in San Jose after the overtime win.