What we learned: Brad Marchand does it again in OT
Something special is happening with the Boston Bruins.
Two nights after a three-goal third period propelled them to a come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Stars, the Bruins put forth a solid 60-minute effort en route to two more valuable points.
With their 2-1 overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild Sunday night, the Bruins sit just two points behind the idle Tampa Bay Lightning for first in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Bruins — who have a game in hand — host the Lightning Thursday night.
Here is what we learned in the Bruins second straight win.
Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug both active in their return(s)
On Sunday the Bruins took a big step toward a healthy roster. Both Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug returned to action, and both chipped in on the win. Bergeron returned after missing the last 13 games, while Krug missed the last two.
“It felt alright, I think in the first, the timing wasn’t necessarily there at all times,” Bergeron told NBC Sports analyst Brian Boucher following the win. “But I am playing with some amazing wingers. So that obviously makes it easier for me. My legs—you know I think it’s everything, the timing, the legs, the execution. But, you know as the game went on, I felt a lot better.”
Bergeron tallied a pair of assists and was 14-for-23 from the faceoff dot in his 19:08 of ice time. Krug skated 21:17, good for second-most among all Bruins, and sprung Brad Marchand loose for his overtime winner with his lone assist of the evening.
Tuukka Rask shines again
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 26, 2018
A wild bounce prevented his second shutout in four games, but there’s no denying that Tuukka Rask was the best Bruin Sunday night. Rask followed up his season-high 40-save effort in Dallas with a 24-save performance — including three highlight-reel stops in the first period.
Rask entered Friday’s tilt with the Stars having allowed four or more goals in six of his last 10 starts. The Bruins still found ways to win in spite of that with a 7-2-1 mark in that span. It’s safe to say that Rask has found his groove again following his stellar weekend.
David Pastrnak notches 30 for second straight year
He’s only 21 years old, but David Pastrnak now has back-to-back 30-goal seasons under his belt.
The fourth-year Bruin notched Goal No. 30 in the second period after one-timing a terrific no-look feed from Bergeron.
Pastrnak continues to grow into one of the league’s best goal scorers. His chemistry with Marchand and Bergeron is unmatched and is a significant reason as to why they’ve become one of the best lines in the National Hockey League.
Marchand does it again in OT
It’s common knowledge that Marchand loves to have the game on his stick and Sunday night was no exception.
Marchand notched his team-leading 33rd of the season just 28 seconds into the 3-on-3 extra session for his fifth game-clincher this season — tying him with Steven Stamkos (2011-12), Jonathan Toews (2015-16) and Alex Galchenyuk (2016-17) for most OT tallies for a single season in league history.
Marchand continues to be asked what about overtime brings out the best of him. His answer always has something to do with his teammates and playing with good players. But the real answer is simple. Star players shine when the lights are bright and the pressure increases. Marchand is no stranger to that.