That was the response the Bruins needed.
After taking a shellacking from the Red Wings Wednesday night in Detroit, the Bruins bounced back nicely with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in front of a nationally televised audience and the 181st consecutive sellout crowd of 17,565 at the TD garden.
“We didn’t want to lose two games in a row and we did a really good job today getting prepared and getting the W,” said Brad Marchand, who recorded his first multi-point game of the 2013-14 season.
Marchand’s performance was just one of the three takeaways from the B’s victory. Here’s a complete look at the Bruins’ solid matinee performance.
Marchand plays his best game of the year
Through 26 games in 2013-14, the “Little Ball of Hate” has seen his share of ups and downs. Friday afternoon was certainly one of those ups.
Not only did Marchand tally a goal and an assist, he also went back to being a good brat, going in the dirty areas and creating opportunities. Early in the third, he shielded the puck from the Rangers defense on an odd-man rush and made a great feed to Patrice Bergeron for his seventh of the year to tie the game at 2-2.
“I think lately he’s picked up [his game] with the way he moves his feet and he creates a lot of chances for himself and gave himself more room,” Bergeron said about his fellow linemate who now has a goal and two assists in his last three games. “He was really good for us and gave us a lot of chances with his vision and also by skating.”
Chara gets the Gordie Howe Trick
Sure Marchand and others contributed to the Bruins’ 17th win of the season. But it was clear that they were inspired by their leader.
“We felt really bad about that game,” Chara said about Wednesday’s loss at the Joe Louis Arena. “It was just one of those nights where we didn’t execute anything and nothing was really happening for us. But those kind of nights happen, and it’s just the way you have to bounce back and regroup from nights like that. I thought today, we did a pretty good job.”
It was clear from the get-go that Chara inspired this team.
When a 6-foot-9 giant drops the gloves, the team takes note. That was no different when Chara and fellow big guy Brian Boyle scrapped with each other late in the second period during a scrum in front of Henrik Lundqvist.
Chara, who tallied an assist on Marchand’s fourth of the season at 14:32 of the first, followed up with the game-winner midway through the third period. Not bad for someone who easily came up with the upper hand in his first fight of the season.
“He’s obviously our leader and you feed off of him,” Bergeron said about Chara. “When you see the fire that he had, you want to step your game up. There’s no better leader in my mind, so it was great to see him get going like that.”
He may only be a minus-1 this season. But with six goals, five assists, and performances like Friday’s matinee, there’s still a reason why the 36-year old Chara is considered a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.
Rangers’ streak snapped
For 101 games, the Rangers never lost in regulation when leading after two periods dating back to February, 2010. The Blueshirts lead 2-1 after the second period and looked to extend that streak to 102.
But Bergeron’s tally and Chara’s game-winner snapped that streak and the Bruins, who were 1-5-0 when trailing after two periods this season, earned a hard fought victory.
“We just told ourselves to keep playing our game,” said Dennis Seidenberg, who returned to the lineup after missing four games due to injury. “The only thing we had to do different [in the third period] was put the puck in the net and that’s what we did.”
Even though the Rangers did this mostly under former coach John Tortorella, its still an impressive accomplishment. The Bruins, however, were intent on getting on the right side of the scoreboard this time around.