Talking Points: Marchand shreds Canucks in third period
It can’t be anybody but Brad Marchand after putting together his second career hat trick in the third period alone, and scoring both the tying and go-ahead goals for the Bruins in a big victory in Vancouver. The game-winner was a thing of beauty with Brad Marchand stripping Henrik Sedin off the half-wall, driving to the net, dangling through the legs of Alex Edler and then flipping a backhand past Ryan Miller for the highlight reel goal. Marchand finished with three goals, four points, a plus-2 and four shots on net in 19 plus minutes while pulling into a tie with Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead with 35 goals this season. Marchand has pushed himself into serious Hart Trophy consideration with an insane 25 goals scored in the last 28 games, and the Bruins don’t win in Vancouver on Monday night without him stepping up.
Bo Horvat is one of the best young players in the NHL, and certainly a bright light for the Canucks at this point. But he had a tough time against the Bruins with one shot on net and a minus-2 in 20:56 of ice time. It was the Sedin Twins and Mikael Granlund that did pretty much all the offensive damage for Vancouver, and Horvat was bottled up by the B’s defense while also losing 16-of-26 face-offs in a long night against the Black and Gold. Alex Edler and Sven Baertschi were both a minus-2 on the night for Vancouver as well, and Edler had Marchand go through him en route to the game-winner. But we’re still going with Horvat for bottom honors.
The Bruins turned on the jets outshooting the Canucks by a 14-7 margin in the third period, and they bounced back from a pretty soft goal surrendered by Tuukka Rask in the middle 20 minutes of the game. It all started with Brad Marchand kicking it into another gear and refusing to allow the Bruins to lose. He scored a power play backhander to tie things up, dangled through the Vancouver defense for the game-winner and then capped it all off with an empty net goal to give the Bruins six goals on the night. It was a pretty impressive final 20 minutes for the Black and Gold after showing a little difficulty shutting down Vancouver’s transition game in the early going. Tuukka Rask also locked things down in the third and that was important after a shaky second.
Patrice Bergeron and David Backes both had strong games as well, as that entire line dominated in Vancouver. Bergeron finished with a pair of assists, including the primary helper on the game-winner, and the main assist on Boston’s first goal of the night with his pass bouncing off David Backes’ skate on the way to the back of the net. Bergeron finished with a team-high six shots on net and won 17-of-26 draws in 19:58 of ice time while serving as the important playmaking force right along with the finisher in Marchand. Both players were brilliant, and Backes was very, very solid, in a game where Boston needed some players to step up if they were going to win.
BY THE NUMBERS
200 – the number of career NHL wins for Tuukka Rask after collecting the victory while stopping 23-of-26 shots in the Monday night victory in Vancouver.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“It wasn’t our best game, but we’re definitely happy we got the win and that’s all that matters.” – Brad Marchand, to NESN following the 6-3 win over Vancouver.