Talking Points: Marchand takes charge in win over Panthers
The Bruins needed a player to step up and finish off some plays offensively, and Brad Marchand did exactly that for the Black and Gold. He made a play on the penalty kill when he blocked a Keith Yandle shot and then scored on the ensuing breakaway after throwing a double-move on James Reimer. Then Marchand camped out near the net in the second period and slammed home the rebound of a Torey Krug shot for his second goal of the evening, and his first multi-point effort since an Oct. 20win against the New Jersey Devils. The two goals, three shots on net and two blocked shots along with some gritty veteran plays along the way in 18:28 of ice time contributed greatly to Boston’s winning final product.
Keith Yandle has struggled at times against his hometown Bruins during games against them over the years, and Saturday night was no exception to that rule. Brad Marchand blocked a Yandle shot attempt near the offensive blue line on the power play, and that turned into a shorthanded breakaway chance that Marchand made good on. That was a giant swing in momentum after Florida had really come out strong in the first 5-10 minutes of the first period, but that was effectively stopped when Marchand made a special teams play to deflate the Panthers. Yandle finished with a minus-2 rating and just one shot on net in 20:19of ice time as one of several Florida players that didn’t look like they had their A game going for them.
Tuukka Rask had a handful of saves in the first period as the Panthers poured on the early initial attack, and he was the only reason the Bruins weren’t down 2-0 or worse after another sluggish start to the game. In all he finished with 25 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, and the 35th shutout of his Bruins career as he continues to climb up the charts. But it was those first 5-10 minutes where Rask saved his teammates that the game was won, and paved the way for the B’s finding their skating legs and scoring those four unanswered goals. One save was a great example of that with Brandon Carlo turning over a puck in the D-zone, and Rask bailing him when Colton Sceviour tried to turn it into some instant offense for the Panthers. In short, the 11 saves that Rask made in the opening 20 minutes against Florida were the key to Boston’s win.
Torey Krug got the one assist in 23:15 of ice time, and had 10 shot attempts and three blocked shots in23:15 of ice time. The real key to getting on the score sheet in the second period was hitting the net with his big point shot, and thereby setting up Brad Marchand for a chance to grind his way for the rebound goal. The 23:15 of ice time for Krug led all Bruins players by a wide margin and managed to give the rest of the back end some lower ice totals with another game less than 24 hours away in Carolina on Sunday afternoon. Krug has been up and down this season at times, but there’s no denying that he’s been much better over the last couple of months as he gets further removed from his offseason surgery. Krug has 13 assists and a plus-2 rating since the beginning of December, and that’s about all you can ask for from the puck-moving offensive D-man.
BY THE NUMBERS:
35 – the number of career shutouts for Tuukka Rask as he pulled into a tie with Frank Brimsek for second on the all-time franchise list, and has only Tiny Thompson’s 74 career shutouts ahead of him on the B’s goalie list.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“We’re focused on getting our game going, and hopefully this is the start of something good for us.” –Torey Krug, to reporters following a 4-0 win over Florida to start their four game road trip.