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

Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

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Rask stops 35 shots in Bruins' 2-1 win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Tuukka Rask made 35 saves to help the Bruins hold off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Saturday

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their past four.

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres combined for nine goals in their previous two wins but the NHL's lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain.

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo's slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second period but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:10 of the second at 7:44 of the third when he knocked on the rebound of his own missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and slip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later, scoring on Rask for the first time in 109:12 this season. Sam Reinhart's feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci. Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins F Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges did not play after injuring his foot blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers. With Dmitry Kulikov (lower back) and Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain) also out, the Sabres were down three of their top four defenseman and recalled 19-year-old Brendan Guhle from the minors to make his NHL debut. Guhle hustled back to thwart a breakaway by Krejci late in the third period. ... F Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors on Friday. ... The Bruins scratched F Jimmy Hayes. D Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' captain, missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Rask got a shutout in Boston's 4-0 win over Buffalo on Nov. 7.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Host Florida on Monday.

Sabres: At Washington on Monday.

 

© 2016 by STATS and The Associated Press.