BOSTON – The game-winner was a thing of beauty from Brad Marchand.
The B’s agitator entered the offensive zone with some speed, and pulled a toe drag move on solid Nashville center Mike Fisher. The slick-looking scoring play ended with the left wing passing himself the puck through the legs of Mr. Carrie Underwood before firing off a wrist shot through heavy body traffic.
“It was just a bad play by me,” admitted Fisher following the game. “I’d like to have that one back, what do you do?”
Preds goalie Marek Mazanec didn’t have a shot of seeing the puck through net-front screens, and the victory was assured for a Bruins team looking to snuff out a two-game losing streak.
The best part about Marchand’s high-risk move: it came in overtime with the score tied at 2 and gave the left winger a sweet game-winning goal he’ll be sure to remember if things start to get difficult again this season.
It was Marchand’s fifth goal in the past seven games, and even the Nose Face Killah admitted he wasn’t sure the tricky move was going to be fruitful. But he was determined to try and make it work after Shea Weber drilled Marchand in front of the Predators bench with three minutes to go in the third period.
Marchand proceeded to spring right back up, and minutes later uncork the brazen move that won Boston a tightly-checked hockey game.
“I wasn’t sure. I was kind of getting ready to back-check because you never know with that move,” said Marchand with a smirk. “Luckily it went in. I saw the guy coming [at me], so I just wanted to get it off. I think there was a lot of traffic in front, he didn’t really see it.
“I think I’ve just got to keep going. Every game you want to try to build a little more confidence, and try to keep improving. That’s all I do.”
The winning score finished off a strong effort with four shots on net in 17:32 of ice time for Marchand, and earned him some begrudging verbal bouquets from his coach once it became a game-winner rather than a turnover.
“It worked, so I give him credit for that. He was smart enough just to throw it at the net, and [Patrice Bergeron] was there. When he’s skating he makes things happen, and I thought he skated well tonight,” said Claude Julien. “When he uses that outside speed, he makes things happen a lot more. As you can see in a lot of games, he has that ability to cut from the outside to the inside pretty good.
“That was one of his patented moves here tonight. But you know it was one of those things that if it hits [Mike] Fisher’s skates it’s a different ballgame. He had to be ready to back-check, but maybe I was surprised a little bit too that he still had the puck.”
As bad as things were for Marchand in October, November and the first part of December, things have turned on their nose for Marchand and his game-winning ways in the New Year.