Fresh from a disappointing performance in Nashville, it appeared that the Boston Bruins would have a similar fate after trailing the talented Dallas Stars 3-1 after 20 minutes of play. On this night, however, the narrative was reversed.
The Bruins scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to get their biggest win of the 2015-16 season and end their season-long six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. Here are a few things that we learned from the B’s 7-3 victory over the second best team in the Western Conference.
Brad Marchand sets the tempo, again
Coming into Saturday night, Brad Marchand was held scoreless for each of the last two games. The last time that Marchand had a multi-game goal drought came in four early-January games — against the Senators, Rangers, Flyers and Sabres — following his three-game suspension.
Facing his former teammate Tyler Seguin and the rest of the Stars on Saturday, Marchand scored twice, including a critical second period goal — his 30th of the season — that started the Bruins’ comeback. He ended the night blowing a kiss to Patrick Eaves following a post-whistle interaction.
“I was excited. The way that [we] won just makes it an enjoyable night, and something we’re all excited about it,” Marchand told reporters following the victory (via Joe Haggerty of CSNNE). “We have to realize how we played this game tonight and the type of game we played and try to carry that into each and every game. If we do that, then we’re going to be a pretty good team.”
As exciting as Marchand is to Bruins fans, there were a few other takeaways that caught the eye of The Hub yesterday.
Power play gets back on track
Through the first nine games of February, the Bruins power play had only lit the lamp once. That came in the disastrous 9-2 loss to Milan Lucic and the Los Angeles Kings in the final home game before embarking on their longest road swing of 2015-16.
Once ranked as the second best power play in the league, the Bruins had fallen to fifth during this recent slump. Well, they found a way to finally break through that slump as the B’s struck three times in six attempts with the man advantage.
From moving the puck to establishing possession, the Bruins’ power play was much more crisp as they fired a whopping 12 shots on Kari Lehtonen during the man advantage. The B’s resembled the power play that was once the second best unit in the NHL, and they picked a good night to do it.
Fourth review is the charm
Shortly after Marchand’s first goal of the night in the opening stanza, Antoine Roussel gave the Stars the lead again at 2-1, but not after an official review and a coach’s challenge from Claude Julien. Roussel, who beat Zdeno Chara en route to a tip in attempt in front of Tuukka Rask, might have interfered with the B’s goalie, but the call and the challenge was upheld.
Towards the end of the first, Patrick Sharp ended an 18-game goal drought converting on a breakaway. The puck had trickled past Rask towards the goal-line before Adam McQuaid knocked the net off its moorings. Upon review, Sharp’s goal stood.
On the fourth review, however, the Bruins and a former Star got the last laugh. After originally called a no-goal, Eriksson, despite showing a kicking motion trying to tip a Dennis Seidenberg pass, got a stick on the initial rebound, and the original call was overturned to give the Black and Gold the lead for good. The go-ahead goal with under a minute left in the middle stanza was Eriksson’s 21st of the season.
A pair of milestones for core players
Playing in his 600th game, David Krejci made the most of his milestone with his third period power play tally to give the Black and Gold a 5-3 lead in the third. Krejci, who also had an assist, tallied eight points during the road trip.
Speaking of 600, Patrice Bergeron earned that milestone in career points tallying two assists on Marchand’s first of the game and Brett Connolly’s empty netter. The accolades will continue for the Bruins’ assistant captain as he’s three games shy of playing in his 800th career NHL game. Barring injury, that next milestone will be reached Friday night in Carolina.