Brad Marchand has been locked in of late.
The Boston Bruins winger missed eight games earlier this season, but has since been absolutely brilliant since returning on Nov. 29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Since returning from injury, Marchand has 12 points (five goals, seven assists), and is a plus-five when he’s on the ice over eight games.
Marchand continued his stellar play in the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night at TD Garden. The star winger scored the game-tying goal during the third period, when David Pastrnak took the puck behind the net and shot a nifty cross-ice pass to Marchand, who blistered it past Henrik Lundqvist.
That goal extended Marchand’s career-long points streak to eight games and underscored how important his presence has been for Boston, but they still will need more from him, especially on special teams.
The B’s power play and penalty kill struggled against the Rangers, and if it wasn’t for Marchand’s third-period power-play goal then it would have been a complete disaster. Boston’s power play tallied just one shot on net in their first five power-play opportunities, which included four turnovers by Marchand.
Then there was the overtime period when Marchand hit an ice snake and fell down causing the Rangers to have a two-on-one going the other way. With Marchand down, the B’s attempted to make a line change to combat the Rangers’ advantage but they were hit with a penalty for having too many men on the ice.
That penalty led to a Matz Zuccarello game-winning goal less than a minute later.
Despite the play of the B’s special teams Saturday, Marchand has been critical to their recent success, with Boston tallying a 5-2-1 record since his return.
As Marchand goes so goes the Bruins, and that never was more apparent than Saturday.
Here are more notes from Bruins-Rangers:
— Boston now has collected a point in 10 of its last 13 games.
— Pastrnak extended his point streak to 11 games, matching his career high.
— Rask lost for his first time in six starts Saturday night.