GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand, like the rest of the Bruins, certainly wasn’t at his best coming off the five day layoff, but the B’s winger made the plays when it mattered most. It was Marchand that answered with a power play goal beating Carey Price on a power play breakaway chance at the end of the first period to tie things up, and then it was Marchand beating Price again for the game-winner in the shootout at the Bell Centre. Marchand battled like the rest of the Bruins through a sometimes choppy 60 minutes of play, and finished with a goal and five shot attempts in 19:52 of ice time. He also had three giveaways and was part of a sometimes sloppy game from the Black and Gold, but he made the plays when his team needed him in order to get the good result.
BLACK EYE: Literally, Montreal winger Phillip Danault left Saturday night’s game toward the end of the second period and had to be transported to a local hospital via ambulance after taking a Zdeno Chara slapshot to the head. Danault was down on the ice for long minutes afterward, and both Chara and Patrice Bergeron stood by him and waited for him to be treated and eventually wheeled off the ice with a head injury. Both Bruins veterans gave a few encouraging words to Danault as he was being taken off the ice, and the latest report on him was that he was conscious and alert at the hospital after the incident. Saturday night served as a scary reminder that hockey is a dangerous sport, and Chara’s heavy, hard slapper is one of those potential hazards whenever playing against the Bruins.
TURNING POINT: The Habs nearly had a win in overtime as a long distance point shot bounced up in the air over the head of Tuukka Rask, but it was Torey Krug that made the alert play sweeping the puck away from the crease. It turned out to be a point-saving play for the Bruins as Tomas Plekanec was ready and waiting to bat the puck into the net, but instead both teams went through the scoreless five minute OT and straight into the shootout. If Krug doesn’t make the game-saving play then the Bruins get one out of two points, and Claude Julien gets the bragging rights over the Bruins in their first game against each other since last season’s firing.
HONORABLE MENTION: All of Boston’s rookies did okay in their first experience against the Montreal Canadiens, but it was Jake DeBrusk that really rose to the occasion once again in a really big moment. DeBrusk scored a second period goal after a really nice Charlie McAvoy stretch pass freed him up for a breakaway, and then DeBrusk scored again in the shootout as the first guy out of the chute chosen by Bruce Cassidy in a hunch that worked out. DeBrusk finished with a goal, two points and a plus-1 rating in 14:20 of ice time, had four shot attempts and four registered hits as well in a really great all-around performance for his first go-round at the Bell Centre. Like McAvoy, DeBrusk seems to really take his game to another level in the big spotlight moments.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the number of consecutive games where the Bruins have points that marks Boston’s best run of continuous success since their President’s Trophy season in 2013-14.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was just hoping that he's not hurt. It does happen, but it's really unfortunate. You don't want to ever see anybody hit in the head/neck area and be carried off the ice. I wish him a fast & full recovery.” –Zdeno Chara, expressing concern for Montreal winger Phillip Danault after he was injured catching a Chara slap shot in the head at the end of the second period.