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  • Brad Marchand remains hot, lifts Bruins to walk off win

    Post Game

    Brad Marchand remains hot, lifts Bruins to walk off win

    Chris Chirichiello February 7, 2016

    Once again after a mediocre performance by the hometown team, red-hot Brad Marchand saved the day for the Boston Bruins in overtime scoring a game-winning penalty shot to beat the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1. It was Boston’s first overtime penalty shot goal in franchise history.

    After Loui Eriksson’s goal in the first period (his first goal in nine games), the Black and Gold were very quiet until the extra frame where Marchand sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

    With 2:28 remaining in overtime, Marchand was cruising to the net when he fought off Rasmus Ristolainen drawing the penalty shot.

    There was little doubt in anyone’s mind that Marchand was burying his 24th goal of the season, and he did just that beating Robin Lehner for the walk-off winner in OT. Marchand’s tally was his ninth goal in his last nine games.

    The Sabres were not happy with the call, but it was too little too late as Marchand raised his arms in the air in celebration as his teammates mobbed him.

    It seems as if whenever Marchand carries the puck, he is going to light the lamp. He had that jump in his step again tonight as he has for the past few weeks. The left-winger had five shots on net in over 19 minutes of total ice time.

    Whenever the Black and Gold need that goal, Marchand has answered the bell and has done it consistently as of late, although head coach Claude Julien admits he was a little bit out of sync the first few games back from his suspension.

    “It took him a few games when he came back,” Julien said postgame. “But since then, definitely, he’s been a great player for us and he was coming up big in those situations. He’s thriving on it right now. When you have a player like that on your team it’s comforting I guess, for everybody to know that he’ll come up big in those big situations. He’s riding a hot streak right now so you’ve got to ride it as long as you can and we certainly will use that.”

    Julien admits that Marchand can be overconfident with the puck by holding on to it and stick-handling too much, but right now he understands to let Marchand play his game.

    “You’ve got to let him play because he’s extremely confident and playing well for us,” added the longest-tenured coach in the NHL.

    Defenseman Joe Morrow was enjoying the view from the bench while Marchand ended the night for the Sabres.

    “It’s so exciting, you can hear the crowd cheering beforehand and it’s so loud in the building,” Morrow said. “I don’t know if it was me I would have lost the puck a bunch of times, I wouldn’t have even got a shot off.”

    Luckily for the Black and Gold it wasn’t Morrow and it was Marchand who knew exactly where to deposit the puck. The 24 goals from the “Little Ball of Hate” now ranks seventh in the NHL.

    Marchand is finding out exactly what type of player he can be as he is on one of the hottest streaks of his career.

    “I kind of talked to a guy this summer and he said something that stuck with me-that the ceiling is what you make it,” Marchand said with a smile. “If you believe that you can hit a certain point then that’s what you’re going to hit. If you believe there’s no ceiling, then you can only improve. So that’s what I’ve been trying to go by this year, and hopefully, it will continue.”

    The 27-year-old knows his confidence level is through the roof, but doesn’t want to get too high.

    “I feel pretty good,” Marchand said. “I feel like I’m trying things that I probably shouldn’t at times and they work. That’s sometimes how it goes when things are kind of going your way-whether or not it feels like you can’t do anything right. Again, I’ve said this before; it’s about staying even-keeled and trying to prepare the same way every night and knowing that if you play the right way and the right game, then it’s going to benefit you more than not.”

    Marchand’s linemate Brett Connolly was pretty certain his penalty shot was going in with the way Marchand is playing at the moment.

    “You know when you’re confident, you’re scoring like that, he’s a gamer, he’s proven to be a gamer for a large part of his career. The crowd rallied behind him pretty well and it was nice to see him get that one, obviously a huge two points. Everybody seems to be winning right now and it’s a matter of keep climbing, keep pushing teams that are below you and it’s going to be a dogfight right to the end.”

    With the game on his stick, Marchand delivered again. He is carrying the B’s offensively at the moment when goals are at a premium. And that won’t stop because he is a very special player.

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