Talking Points: Marchand closes in on 40 goals
Brad Marchand moved one step away from 40 goals with his 39th score on the power play in the third period for the insurance marker and played a strong all-around game on a day when the Bruins really needed him. Marchand finished with a goal and a plus-2 rating, a team-high six shots on net and three takeaways in 19:22 of ice time. Marchand also set the healthy screen on Patrice Bergeron’s goal in the second period that was not deemed goalie interference, despite being challenged by the Florida bench. The Bruins needed some of their best players to rise to the occasion in a grind of a game on Saturday afternoon and the Bruins top Hart Trophy candidate did just that.
A rough afternoon for Florida star forward Vincent Trocheck, who finished a minus-3 and missed with five of the eight shots he took in a whopping, team-leading 25:04 of ice time for the Panthers. Trocheck lost 12 of 22 face-offs and simply couldn’t find the range in a tough night for that top line matched up against Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo along with the Patrice Bergeron line for most of the game. It’s been just an “okay” season for Trocheck coming off a big season last year and Saturday afternoon in Boston will go down as one of his weaker games of the season despite generating eight shot attempts.
The Bruins certainly worked hard enough to earn a break or two in the game, and they got theirs in the second period on a play where Reto Berra got a little too aggressive. He tried to beat a hustling David Pastrnak to a puck behind the net, and blindly flipped the puck off the boards on a clear attempt. Instead David Krejci hopped on the turnover and fired a shot into the open net for his 23rd goal of the season before Berra could recover and man the crease. It turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Black and Gold, and a fatal mistake that Florida wouldn’t recover from.
Patrice Bergeron topped the 20-goal plateau with a couple of strikes, including a big second-period goal when he hopped on the rebound of a Zdeno Chara point blast. He finished with the two goals and a plus-2 rating in 20:04 of ice time, five shots on net, seven shot attempts, one hit, two takeaways and 7-for-20 face-off wins while playing lockdown defense for the most part on Florida’s Vincent Trocheck line. The empty net goal late was a nice little bonus to get him to 20 on the season when that good, round number was in doubt after a very slow offensive start to the season for him.
BY THE NUMBERS
9-2 – the record for the Bruins in matinee games this season after Saturday, with a couple more to go by the end of the regular season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Definitely a little emotional. It didn’t really sink in until Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] came over [postgame] and said he loved me and then it was very nice of [the media] with the third star. I appreciate that. Getting that and people sticking around and applauding me when I came out. That’s probably the closest I have been to getting choked up in a bit. It’s emotional but I had a good run. No regrets, no complaints. I’m very happy with my career.” –Former B’s enforcer Shawn Thornton, on his final game at the Garden with his retirement looming at the end of the season.