Marchand provides finishing touch in Game 5

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Marchand provides finishing touch in Game 5

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Patrice Bergeron made a great play. Its what he does.

A little hesitation from the corner allowed Brad Marchandto beat his man out front, and Bergeron put a hard pass through the slot on thetape of Marchands stick. Its the type of reliable play that Bergeron makes all the time. But that doesnt mean its always a play thats finished.

Marchand had 21 goals in the regular season. He had fiveplayoff goals entering Monday nights Game 5 againstthe Tampa Bay Lightning. As a rookie, hes shown that he has exactly what ittakes to be an impact player, especially on a line with Bergeron.

And far too often in recent years the Bruins have seentheir forwards not have enough finish. Theyve had brilliant playmakers, inBergeron, Marc Savard, and David Krejci. But finding a guy to finish what theseplaymakers start hasnt been easy.

By beating Martin St. Louis to open space at the left post,and fighting off St. Louis stick-lift attempt out front, Marchand was able tobury Bergerons picture-perfect feed out front with 4:04 left in the secondperiod, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead that they never relinquished en route to a 3-1 victory and a 3-2 series lead.

I know our team, even as a whole, when you look at the gameitself, it wasnt our best game, said Bruins coach Claude Julien. But youknow, sometimes, its about finding ways to win. And thats what we didtonight.

Marchand has helped this Bruins team find ways to win, timeand time again this season. Hes the type of gritty forward who provides somefinish who thrives in playoff hockey.

And even though he hadnt put up a single point in the firstfour games of the Eastern Conference finals, Marchand put it away when itcounted most, helping give the Bruins an edge ina series that was previously tied at 2-2.

Its been a frustrating series, said Marchand. Its beena battle every night. Zdeno Chara made a great play down to Bergy there, and I justwent to the net with my stick on the ice. I didnt even see it coming. I justkept hard on my stick. I knew Bergy was coming to me. He made an unbelievablepass, and I just put it into the open net.

Hes a young player, hes a first-year player, saidJulien. His intentions are so good, that sometimes, when things dont go hisway, he has a tendency to get a little frustrated. And the minute I saw himget frustrated, in the first period, I had a talk with him, told him to settledown and stay positive, and things would work out.

But I really feel that that goal really helped him settledown, and he was a better player afterwards.

Ask around the room, and theyll tell you. Marchand is morethan just a difference-maker. Hes the type of player that Bruins fans havewatched over the years on other teams in the playoffs, and have asked, Whycant we get guys like that?

That guy drove hardto the net and finished when the Bruins needed a goal. And as a result, the Bruins are one win away from advancing tothe Stanley Cup Finals.

Even looking at the replay, Marchand had a guy on him, andhe was really strong on his stick, said Milan Lucic. He even said he didntsee it. But he knew that the puck was going to get on his stick, and thatsjust the chemistry that Marchand and Bergeron have created this year.

Marchand obviously hasnt had the greatest start to thisseries, but hes a great player for us, and hes been a great player for us allseason long. Its just him stepping up and making a big play at a key time.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Backes, Pastrnak make their Bruins preseason debut tonight in Philly

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Backes, Pastrnak make their Bruins preseason debut tonight in Philly

The Bruins have announced their lineup for Saturday night’s preseason road game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center and it will include the exhibition schedule debuts of World Cup players David Backes and David Pastrnak.

Both forwards have been skating with the training camp group since Wednesday and will ramp things up after taking a couple of days to recharge following the tournament in Toronto.

Those two veterans, one of the older and one of the extremely younger variety, will mix in with the B’s group that’s been in camp for the past 10 days working out together and gaining chemistry on forward lines working together for two practice sessions each day at Warrior Ice Arena.

A number of B’s players will be back in the lineup on Saturday night after skating in Friday night’s 2-1 overtime win against the Red Wings including: Colby Cave, Seth Griffith, Danton Heinen, Joe Morrow and Riley Nash. 

Here’s the full Black and Gold lineup against the Broad Street Bullies with Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre getting the call in Philly with one of them most likely to get the entire game between the pipes a la Anton Khudobin in Detroit on Friday night: Backes, Chris Casto, Colby Cave, Tommy Cross, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Jesse Gabrielle, Seth Griffith, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Zane McIntyre, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Peter Mueller, Riley Nash, Rob O’Gara, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Malcolm Subban and Jakub Zboril.

Talking points from Bruins' 2-1, overtime win in Detroit

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Talking points from Bruins' 2-1, overtime win in Detroit

GOLD STAR: Solid night’s work from Ryan Spooner, who finished with the OT game-winning strike and was solid throughout the game as the de facto No. 1 center. He had four shots on net, six generated shot attempts and won 12-of-19 face offs as he continues to improve in that area while training camp rolls along. Spooner is trying to hold onto the No. 3 center spot in the lineup despite the addition of David Backes via free agency, and Friday night’s big boy performance with speed, playmaking and skill showed exactly what his potential can be when he puts it all together. It was also a nice little bounce-back from an up-and-down game on Wednesday night against the same Detroit team when he struggled in the face off circle and was part of a team-wide malaise.

BLACK EYE: It wasn’t necessarily a bad night for Brian Ferlin, but it was more of the invisible variety with just a registered hit and one face-off taken in 13 minutes of ice time. The forward earned some NHL time with the Bruins a couple of years, has battled concussion woes over the last year plus and is trying to push his way back into the crowded forward picture during this training camp. While he certainly showed some toughness and skill around the net a couple of years and didn’t seem shy about going there on Friday night, the results just weren’t there and Ferlin didn’t have much of a presence in the game. In general it was a pretty decent performance for the Bruins, so Ferlin’s game was quiet more than problematic.

TURNING POINT: Credit the Bruins coaching staff for switching up the lines in the third period, and that sparked the offense a bit after zero goals through the first 40 minutes against Detroit. Zach Senyshyn was moved with Danton Heinen and Riley Nash, and they became a threat in the third period before Heinen broke through for the game-tying goal from his knees. That score allowed the B’s to push things into overtime, and then Spooner made it a quick extra session by snapping home a shot from the slot after a good effort from Joe Morrow down low. It all was made possible by the adjustment to the lines that took place between the second and the third periods.

HONORABLE MENTION: Joe Morrow is battling to hold onto his NHL roster spot with the Bruins, and that is absolutely underscored by the news that Christian Ehrhoff is being brought to Boston on a PTO. So it was expected that the young D-man would come out with something a little extra after a mediocre performance in his preseason debut, and the left shot D-man was an impact player in the win for the Black and Gold. Morrow dropped the gloves with young tough guy Givani Smith in the second period as part of a B’s group that played with a little bit of an edge on Friday night, and then he won a battle down low in overtime to set up the Ryan Spooner game-winner. Morrow had two hits, two shot attempts, the assist and the fight in 19:48 of ice time, and showed that he’s ready to battle in camp to hold onto his spot.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of goals in two preseason games thus far for Danton Heinen, who scored important game-tying goals in both instances in the shootout loss to the Blue Jackets and Friday night’s overtime win against the Wings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “The compete level, especially when he got down 4-0 [on Wednesday night], I don’t think it was high enough. So we talked about it, and we expect a better effort for sure.” –Ryan Spooner on Friday morning prior to going out and snatching the win away from the Red Wings in Detroit with an OT game-winner.