Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is putting up points at a high pace this season, and his offensive dominance continued Thursday night at TD Garden.
The veteran left winger scored his 10th goal of the season and added an assist in Boston’s 6-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. He now has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 18 games.
Marchand, despite missing eight games because of injury this season, has picked up right where he left off in 2016-17 when he tallied a career-high 85 points in 80 games. It was his first campaign in which he scored at a point-per-game rate, and he looks primed to do that again.
Marchand has been especially effective since returning from injury for a Nov. 29 matchup versus the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning. He’s posted six points (two goals, four assists) and the Bruins own a 3-1-0 record during that span. In fact, the B’s have just one regulation loss (5-1-3) when Marchand finds the back of the net.
The Bruins have integrated many young players into their lineup this season, particularly at forward. That means the veteran stars, including Marchand, must provide a level of consistency to help offset the inevitable struggles of the rookies. So far, Marchand has done that and more for the B’s.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Coyotes.
— David Backes scored his first two goals of the season in the second period. His 2017-18 campaign has been ravaged by injuries, including colon surgery, but he’s played well since returning Nov. 29 after a month-long absence.
The veteran forward is a valuable part of the team’s success because of his offensive production, experience, leadership and penalty killing. He’s also a versatile player capable of being effective at center and on the wing. The Bruins need Backes to be healthy on a consistent basis to reach their maximum potential.
— The line of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash and Backes was exceptional versus the Coyotes.
— Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask appears to be finding his groove after stopping 20 of the 21 shots the Coyotes fired at him. He’s won each of his last three starts with a .957 save percentage and three goals allowed in that span. It’s his first three-game win streak of the season. Rask’s save percentage was below .900 for a while, but now he’s getting closer to the league average.
— David Krejci scored Boston’s fourth goal and assisted on Anders Bjork’s tally. Krejci now has four multi-point games this season, and the B’s have a 9-5-0 record when he plays.
— To learn more about the Bruins’ holiday raffle, check out the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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