Marchand's been a broken record in postseason

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Marchand's been a broken record in postseason

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
BOSTON -- The name is Brad Marchand.

Not Chad. Not Marshmont. It's Brad Marchand.

You'll need to get it right for the record books.

His Game 6 goal in Boston's 5-2 win over Vancouver was his ninth of the postseason and set a Bruins record for most goals by a rookie in a single playoff season. Marchand shot past Mike Krushelnyski (1983) and Bobby Joyce (1988) to earn the honor.

"It's nice," he said. "Obviously, it's a nice little stat to keep in the back of my mind, but that's not what I was going for coming into the playoffs. I just want to help the team win in any way I can. It's nice to contribute."

Not bad for a guy who gets teased.

Like when Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty took a jab via Twitter during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals: "This game is longer than Marchand's nose." (Marchand had a goal and four assists during the series.)

Not bad for a guy who admitted there was a "question mark" surrounding his standing on the team this season.

Remember that more-beer-than-brains radio show caller? "I don't like that Marshmont! Where the hell did he come from anyway?" (He won the Seventh Player Award with 21 goals and 20 assists in 73 games.)

He comes from Hammond Plains, Nova Scotia and is making his way toward a Stanley Cup.

"He's been a big part of our team taking that step to get to this point," said teammate Milan Lucic. "He's scored a lot of big goals."

So far, there's none bigger than the one he scored in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Boston skated out Monday night with a noose around its neck. Vancouver had a 3-2 series lead; there would be no more second chances. The media hounded both teams with one particular detail of the series: First team to score wins. Every time.

Lucic had conceded the point before Game 5.

"So far, that first goal's been huge and it seems like it's been a big one. For us, back home we've been kind of able to gain momentum off it, and so have they. I think our record speaks for itself when we score the first goal . . . So it's going to be key."

It was. The Canucks looked tough off the opening faceoff. The Cup was in the building, or nearby at least, and they could smell blood. They were skating hard, poised to strike the killing blow.

But Boston struck first. Mark Recchi got the puck on a strong forecheck and shuttled it ahead to Marchand at the blueline. Marchand flew in on the right wing and drilled the back of the net, top shelf, over Roberto Luongo's glove.

It was like taking a nailgun to Luongo's tires. Once Marchand got that first, all-important goal, the pressure turned to inspiration. It took just 35 seconds for Lucic to add another Bruins tally at 6:06. Two-and-a-half minutes later, Andrew Ference made it 3-0.

The Vancouver machine broke down; Luongo was pulled and Cory Schneider came in. Though Boston didn't need more goals, it got two.

Marchand's teammates singled him out as the firestarter.

"It was a huge goal he scored and he emotionally kept on driving for us," veteran Mark Recchi said. "He's such a good kid and it's nice to see him get rewarded but also play an intelligent game tonight. He still played with the edge, but it was on the right side of it."

The Canucks may disagree.

Marchand got slapped with a 10-minute misconduct during the final 30 seconds of regulation for landing left-handed jabs to Daniel Sedin's mug. Most 22-year-olds might be less brazen tossing mittens with Hart Trophy finalists, but Marchand is an equal opportunity antagonist. He's pestered Daniel and his brother Henrik at every opportunity with bumps off the bench, slashes on faceoffs and an ever-moving mouth.

He'll be the first one to say "I shouldn't be doing that stuff" and then do it again the next night.

Recchi, sage as he may be, doesn't try to rein the rookie in.

"He's a young kid that plays on the edge and sometimes the emotions get the best of him," said Recchi. "But when you're young, that's not a bad thing. I would rather have a kid like that than a kid that plays with no emotion. It's a big part of his game and he's learning.

"He's learning to corral it when he needs to and when we need a lift, he's learned to go out and do it. That's the sign of a smart, young player who wants to get better and better."

A record-setting rookie season is a good place to start. But Brad Marchand has only just begun to make a name for himself.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont debate if it is time for the Bruins to send a message to Tuukka Rask and have Anton Khudobin get the starts in net.

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

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Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.