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  • What we learned: Brad Marchand’s three points powers Bruins past Sharks

    Ryan Ames February 27, 2022

    Brad to the bone.

    Two goals from Brad Marchand and some sparkling saves from Jeremy Swayman in the third period highlighted the Boston Bruins’ 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at SAP Center.

    Marchand totaled three points on the night with a secondary assist on Patrice Bergeron’s late third-period marker to go along with his pair of goals.

    Swayman secured 15 saves in the outing — en route to his 12th win of the season — but turned aside a couple of high-danger chances from San Jose in the third, with his top stop coming via a sprawling glove save on a Tomas Hertl bid.

    Marchand potted the game’s first goal in the first period on a successful 2-on-1 odd-man rush. Jake DeBrusk hit Marchand in stride on the right side as the veteran winger promptly snapped home his 22nd goal this season past the diving James Reimer.

    The Sharks didn’t respond until the middle frame when Timo Meier powered a one-timer through Swayman on the man advantage. San Jose broke through on the power play after failing to convert on three first-period opportunities.

    In the third period, the Bruins received their third power-play opportunity of the night. Although they couldn’t convert up a man, Marchand put his team ahead for good after blasting his second score of the game on a great feed from Taylor Hall.

    San Jose turned up the pressure as the frame progressed, but Swayman stood tall, stopping all seven Sharks shots of the final period.

    With under a minute left, Bergeron sealed the deal with a goal from the slot, pushing the Bruins to their ninth consecutive win against the Sharks.

    Here’s what we learned after the B’s latest victory at the Shark Tank.

    DeBrusk’s stock continues to rise

    Make it points in four straight games for DeBrusk after his beautiful assist on Marchand’s first goal Saturday.

    Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy promoted DeBrusk to the top line for Thursday’s tilt against the Seattle Kraken. The 25-year-old winger has looked right at home with two goals and an assist in two games. Before that, DeBrusk tallied goals in the B’s wins over the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche.

    The 2015 first-round selection has been a frequently discussed name in the rumor mill after his trade request became public in late November. While general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t found a suitable trade partner yet, DeBrusk’s elevated play of late should bring more interested teams to the table.

    Now with 20 points in 47 games, DeBrusk is showcasing his ability to play top-line minutes as well after bouncing around Boston’s lineup. And while DeBrusk likely isn’t in the Bruins’ long-term plans, his recent stretch of solid performances will only benefit both parties.

    The Bruins’ power play stayed cold

    Although their ongoing struggles didn’t prove costly in the end, the Bruins’ power play left something to be desired once again.

    Boston’s power play drought extended to 19 straight attempts following Saturday’s 0-for-3 showing. Their last man-advantage tally came nearly two weeks ago during a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.

    Recently, the Bruins have had good puck movement on the man advantage, but appear dead set on finding David Pastrnak. Instead of taking open ice, the B’s seem to force pucks to their sniper, who is usually gearing up for his patented wicked one-timer.

    While Pastrak’s shot is one of the best in the league, the Bruins need to keep other threats open as a possibility so the defense can’t predict their power play strategy as easily. Pastrnak leads the B’s with 12 PPG’s, with Marchand next with half as many at six. Charlie McAvoy (4) is the only Boston defenseman with at least one power play goal.

    Standings switcheroo

    The Bruins officially passed the Washington Capitals in the wild-card standings following the win in San Jose.

    With 66 points, the Bruins move into the top wild-card spot while the Capitals now sit in the second position with 65 points.

    The B’s had a better points percentage entering Saturday’s matchup as the Capitals have a couple of games in hand, but the victory against the Sharks made the move official.

    The Bruins would face the Atlantic Division-leading Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs if the regular season ended today.

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