Marchand deflates Penguins twice in Game 2

Marchand deflates Penguins twice in Game 2
June 4, 2013, 7:00 am
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BRUINS 6, PENGUINS 1

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PITTSBURGH – All it took was a grand total of 53 seconds for Brad Marchand to completely collapse the Pittsburgh Penguins’ hopes for Game 2 at the CONSOL Energy Center on Monday night.

The Nose Face Killah enjoyed his best game of the playoffs thus far as he scored 28 seconds into the first period on the very first shift of the game, and then tallied another goal at the end of the first period that helped propel Boston to a lopsided 6-1 victory over the Pens.

The win gives the Black and Gold a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of seven Eastern Conference Finals series, and sends the series back to Boston with the B’s having outscored Pittsburgh by a 9-1 margin thus far. While Marchand seemed to have a few things to say to a few Penguins players after scoring the game’s first goal for the Bruins, he was modest and deferential after the blowout had ended. It’s a tall order for a guy that just scored two goals and was a game-high plus-4 after the commanding win, but Marchand was up for the aforementioned tall order.

“We wanted to make sure we had a really big start,” said Marchand, who now has four goals and 11 points in 14 playoff games after a sluggish start vs. the Maple Leafs. “We really just played our game.”

Marchand’s offensive explosion was part of a dominant night for that entire line, with the two goals from the B’s agitator and a pair of assists from Jaromir Jagr, including a backhanded beauty in the third period to Patrice Bergeron that officially pushed the win to blowout levels. But it was all about the explosive start to Boston’s night, with Marchand taking advantage of a Sidney Crosby turnover at the blue line. Marchand rushed in for the partial breakaway score to open things up for Boston, and the Bruins had themselves the perfect start to a road hockey game.

“When you start off with an early lead in the visiting building, you're certainly happy with that start,” said Claude Julien. “I thought our guys did a good job of, again, playing a solid game, solid two-way game, and some great plays.

“Marchand, two goals; Jags, the passes he made and even that hit in front of our bench, that turned the puck over and allowed Marchand to score a goal. He's come in to play for us and he's played well.”

Marchand’s second goal was even more important.

Brandon Sutter finally broke through the Boston defense for Pittsburgh’s one and only goal in six periods of hockey, and fired a laser shot to the right corner of the net that Tuukka Rask had no chance to stop. It cut Boston down to a 3-1 lead and started building some momentum for the Penguins, but Marchand beat Marc-Andre Fleury clean and high to the glove side for the B’s fourth goal.

What’s even better about Marchand’s second goal of the game?

The Bruins Little Ball of Hate called his shot from the bench after Sutter scored to give Pittsburgh just that little sliver of hope.

“[Marchand] actually called it on the bench,” said a smiling Shawn Thornton. “I probably shouldn’t have said that, but he told me he was going to get one when his line left the bench.”

“They did a good job of getting some momentum off their goal, we just kinda crushed that,” said Marchand. “We’re happy we were able to do that.”

Matt Cooke took himself out of the play trying to deliver a big hit, and opened things for Marchand’s score. It appeared there was a conversation between the two after the score, and that would have been a perfect situation for the 24/7 microphones to pick up the conversation. But Marchand would deliver only a “no comment” when asked about the conversation following the game.

That was it for Pittsburgh, who couldn’t gather any more momentum after Marchand crashed their conference final party in a major way.