Boston Bruins win an OT barn-burner on Marchand hat trick

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 6: David Backes
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 6: David Backes /

If you like goals, I’m sure you liked the Boston Bruins game the other day against the Penguins, but not so much the last one against Montreal.  Tonight’s game was more like the former than the latter.

There’s fast starts, and then there’s what the Boston Bruins did tonight to the Detroit Red Wings.  Last Thursday against Pittsburgh, the Bruins scored 5 goals in the first period.  The next game, they took nearly 3 full periods to score a goal against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.  The Bruins were pedal-to-the-metal early in this one, trying to avoid the type of slow start that gets them in trouble against bad teams.

1st period

In the first 52 seconds of the game, the B’s scored twice, jumping out to a lightning fast 2-0 lead.  Torey Krug blasted home a shot from the point 37 seconds into the game.  Jake DeBrusk followed that up 15 seconds later with a pass that caromed off a Red Wings defenseman and passed Jared Coreau, whose night would end early.

The Wings showed some fight, scoring two goals of their own by 7:53 of the first period.  Frans Nielsen scored a few seconds into a power play on a shot that Anton Khudobin never saw.  Later, defenseman Mike Green collapsed down low into the offensive zone and buried a loose puck in front of the Bruins net.

Krug scored another one for good measure to end the 1st period off a fantastic feed by Brad Marchand.  With 5 goals in 20 minutes, it seemed like another barn burner was in our future.

2nd period

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The 2nd period was quite the back and forth affair.  Just when it seemed like the Bruins were about to assert their dominance, the Wings would come back with their own pressure, and vice versa.  Each team had fantastic bouts of zone time and offensive effort, and defense was clearly optional tonight.

Four goals were scored in the 2nd period, two by each team.  Marchand and Anthony Mantha alternated goals at 3:27, 12:05, 13:18, and 15:50 of the frame.  After two periods, 3 players had two goals (Krug, Marchand, Mantha), and were one strike away from the hat trick.  The 2nd period was also a much more physical period, as tempers started to flare on both sides, due in large part of a questionable hit by David Backes on Frans Nielsen, who left the game and didn’t return.

3rd period and beyond

The 3rd period started with a Marchand slashing penalty 5 seconds into the period.  The Bruins killed off the penalty with only one scoring chance by Detroit.  But I couldn’t help but be concerned that Marchand was going to end up doing something stupid (and suspendable) before the game was over.

The Bruins were the beneficiary of a power play later in the period.  The Bruins first power play unit had looked incredibly solid all night, and Krug came within inches of scoring his 3rd of the night.  Unfortunately for him, the iron was unkind.

Halfway through the period, Bruins fans were wondering when the “Frk” Tuukka Rask would be back.  Martin Frk bounced a shot off a Bruins defenseman just as a Sean Kuraly tripping penalty expired.  The puck fluttered up in the air over Khudobin, who for some reason just seemed to be resting so-to-speak in the butterfly position, and into the net.  All of a sudden, the game was tied at 5-5, which is how the period ended.

When Marchand and Krug were on the ice in overtime, how did you expect this game to end?  After Dylan Larkin attempted to enter the Bruins zone but bounced it off the linesman, the B’s made short work of the overtime frame.  Riley Nash fed the puck to a cutting Krug who almost beat Jimmy Howard for the hat trick.  Marchand was not far behind, as he gathered the loose change and backhanded the puck top shelf over Howard.  Just like that, Marchand capped off a five point night in a 6-5 Bruins win.

Takeaways from the game

I’m not one to complain about officiating.  But in a game where the teams had a combined 9 power plays, meaning the officials love the sound of their own whistles, there were some questionable calls made and questionable missed calls.  And that goes for both teams as well.

David Pastrnak collected 3 assists tonight.  Pretty solid performance on the score sheet, but he did make a few shaky plays that led directly to Detroit chances.  With Patrice Bergeron out, he doesn’t have the best defensive forward to bail him out, so his mistakes are more noticeable.

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Tonight’s game was the first time since he was acquired that Rick Nash was seemingly held in check.  Other than DeBrusk’s early goal, the DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash line wasn’t as dominant as it has been.  No need to be concerned, though.  The fact they have had as much chemistry as they did early on was unexpected.  This is just one game, they’ll be back on Thursday with a vengeance.