Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand plays his best against the Vancouver Canucks.
The hero of Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final scored a third-period hat trick to help the Bruins overcome a 3-2 deficit and leave Vancouver with a 6-3 victory Monday night. The B’s now have won three straight games.
Boston improves to 37-26-6 with the win, while Vancouver drops to 28-32-9.
Here’s how it all went down.
The Bergeron line has been on fire of late, and it didn’t take long for this trio to give Boston a first-period lead. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand assisted on David Backes’ goal at 6:48 of the frame. Bergeron fed a pass to Backes and the puck bounced off his skate and into the Vancouver net. It was Backes’ 14th goal of the season.
Backes was Boston’s marquee free-agent signing last summer, and he’s starting to find his game after a slow start to the campaign.
The veteran forward has tallied 10 points in his last 14 games. He’s also been aggressive in the attacking zone with 25 shots on goal over that span. Backes always brings leadership and toughness to the ice, but it’s his offensive production that will really help the B’s because their scoring depth on the wings needs improvement.
CANUCKS BOUNCE BACK
Vancouver’s top line tied the game at the 4:08 mark in the first period when Markus Granlund scored his 18th goal of the season. Henrik and Daniel Sedin assisted on the goal.
Granlund scores his second goal of the period just one minute and 18 seconds after the first. This time, he scored on the doorstep to give the Canucks their first lead of the game. And just like the first tally, the Sedin twins picked up the assists.
CAPTAIN TIES IT
B’s defenseman Zdeno Chara tied the score at 2-2 six minutes into the second period on a shot from the point. Jimmy Hayes was screening Canucks goalie Ryan Miller in front of the net and appeared to tip the puck, but he pointed at Chara after the play to signal it was the captain’s goal.
CANUCKS QUICK TO ANSWER
The Bruins let the Canucks re-take the lead soon after tying the score. Vancouver D-man Alexander Edler scored his fourth goal of the season 21 seconds after Chara’s equalizer on a shot from near the goal line that B’s goalie Tuukka Rask should’ve stopped.
POWER PLAY STRIKES
The Bruins tied the game 3-3 just 58 seconds into the third period when Brad Marchand scored on a backhand shot while Miller was out of position in the crease. It was Marchand’s team-leading 33rd goal of the season.
David Pastrnak picked up the only assist on the goal to extend his point streak to a career-best nine games. He’s tallied 12 points (three goals, nine assists) during the streak.
Boston also has scored on the power play in six of its last nine games.
BRUINS PULL AWAY
David Krejci scored at 16:46 of the third period to give the B’s their first two-goal lead of the game, and then Marchand scored his 35th goal of the season into an empty net — tying him for the league lead with Sidney Crosby — to put an exclamation point on a 6-3 win.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
On March 13, 1980, Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk’s No. 9 was retired to the rafters of the old Boston Garden. He was the sixth Bruins player to have his number retired.
The Bruins resume their road trip Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames. Puck drop is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports Images