Talking Points: Bruins fall behind early, come back against Penguins
Brad Marchand once again walked the walk for a Bruins team that needed him, and scored a pair of goals early in the game when his hockey club needed some energy and inspiration. The first was one of his trademark shorthanded strikes, and the second was a rebound score off a smoked David Pastrnak one-timer. The two goals allowed Marchand to hit the 20 goals mark for the sixth time in his seven seasons with the Black and Gold, and count the lockout-shortened year as the only campaign when No. 63 didn’t get to the 20-mark. Marchand finished with four shots on net, seven shot attempts, two goals and a plus-1 rating in a whopping 23:25 of ice time, and played with the trademark tenacity in a physical, nasty game.
Sidney Crosby was effectively bottled up by the Bruins all night long. The Penguins superstar didn’t have a shot on net, lost 17-of-28 face-offs and wasn’t enough of a factor during five-on-five play in his 22:19 of ice time. He did snap off the one sweet cross-ice feed on the power play for Phil Kessel’s goal that gave the Penguins a short-lived two-goal lead, and that’s a nice play. But Crosby couldn’t even got a shot on net in the closing seconds with a chance from a bad angle after Mike Sullivan had pulled the goalie, and was roughed up a bit by the Bruins given that they didn’t have to also focus on shutting down Evgeni Malkin as well. Crosby was one player that looked like he was looking forward to the All-Star break getting started.
The Bruins were down 2-0 after the first intermission, and it was looking like the same old story again for a B’s team going up against the Stanley Cup champs. Instead the Black and Gold came out fighting in the second period, scored a goal less than two minutes into the period on a Brad Marchand shorthanded strike and then potted three goals en route to coming all the way back and taking control of the game. They never relinquished a lead after that, but getting the first two goals of the second period from Marchand was a key ingredient in eventually getting the win.
Patrice Bergeron was strong, plain and simple. He scored a goal in the third period that ended up as the game-winner when he crashed the net on the power play, and finished with a pair of points along with a plus-1 rating. Bergeron also finished with five shots on net, two hits and two takeaways in 22:33 of ice time, and won a whopping 23-0f-29 draws while dominating all night with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. It was clear No. 37 was emptying the tank with three days off staring him in the face moving forward, and when he does that he is something to behold on the ice as he was on Thursday night.
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 – the number of consecutive wins on home ice after victories against Detroit and Pittsburgh, which marks the first time the B’s have done that at TD Garden since a three-game homestand that started on Nov. 27.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“This is the kind of effort we need. We need emotional involvement, we need to be engaged, and tonight we were engaged.” –Claude Julien, who clearly liked what he saw in the B’s 4-3 win over the Penguins.