He ended it with an exclamation point by taking a few shots at Vancouver star forward Daniel Sedin in a late scrum.
It was hard to say which the Garden faithful enjoyed more, but that early tally 5:31 into the first was certainly the most important to the Bruins. It sparked a run of four goals over the next 4:14 — the fastest four goals by one team in Stanley Cup Final history –as the Bruins stayed alive with an impressive 5-2 victory in Game 6, evening the series with the Canucks at three games apiece and setting up a dramatic decisive showdown for the Cup in Game 7 in Vancouver on Wednesday.
"Great goal, great shot, and when you see a guy like that go in and score, you want to get that next one," Bruins forward Rich Peverley said of Marchand's tally. "And I think everyone did a good job of bringing the energy level."
Milan Lucic scored just 35 seconds later, Andrew Ference added another 2:29 after that to chase Vancouver starter Roberto Luongo, and Michael Ryder completed the spurt when he made it 4-0 just 1:10 later on Canucks backup Cory Schneider.
"It seems like the first goal is always a big one for both teams, so it was nice to get that one early," Marchand said. "We seemed to build a lot of momentum off that. We got a few goals early and were able to sit on that a bit."
Marchand's goal was a thing of beauty, as Mark Recchi tapped it ahead to him at the blue line and Marchand broke in down the right wing, then fired in a wrister over Luongo's glove inside the near top corner.
"It was more of an instinctive shot," Marchand said. "I do that a lot in practice. I knew I wanted to get a shot off quick and get it on net. It was nice it went in."
While Marchand remained modest, his teammates were more impressed with the goal.
"It was an unbelievable shot," center David Krejci said. "He picked the top corner. It was hard. It kind of got us going. It got the crowd into it and we fed off their energy and got the next three goals in the next three or four minutes. That was a big goal for us."
It was also a milestone goal for Marchand, who broke the franchise record for playoff goals by a rookie with his ninth tally this postseason.
"That's nice, it's a nice little stat to keep in the back of my mind," Marchand said. "That's not what I was going for coming into the playoffs. I just want to help the team win any way I can. Obviously it's nice to contribute."
Marchand has been a surprise contributor all season, scoring 21 goals in the regular season and finishing at a plus-25.
"He's been a great player for us all year," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He's a good energy player. Certainly that goal that he scored tonight was certainly a highlight-reel goal. The shot that he took was an extremely accurate and hard shot from an off wing and that's the caliber of a Brad Marchand shot. Hopefully with more confidence, you're going to see him use that even more. He's been a great, great player for us. For a first-year player, he's been great. When you look at how he's handling himself in the Stanley Cup Finals, you certainly can't complain as a coach."
Of course, there's been a number of times throughout the season when how Marchand handled himself did cause Julien a few reasons to complain. An agitator who plays on the edge, Marchand can cross over it at times. His late-game battle with Daniel Sedin came close to doing that as he tossed a couple of punches at the usually mild-mannered Swedish star.
"It was just heat of the moment, that stuff happens," Marchand said of the incident, before noting that Sedin had not really done anything to provoke the attack.
"He didn't say anything. He was just kind of taking it," Marchand said. "He didn't say anything before [the scrum]. He was just there."
And when asked why he did it, Marchand, who picked up a roughing minor and a 10-minute misconduct while Sedin received just a misconduct, replied simply, "Because I felt like it."
Fortunately for the Bruins, Marchand didn't give in to his proclivity for mischief until the game was well in hand, and Marchand's own tally helped make sure of that.
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