The Boston Bruins have won 11 of the first 14 games on their 82-game schedule. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Boston topped the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 for win No. 11 on Monday, but the W didn’t come so easily this time around.
After going up 3-0 on the Penguins at TD Garden, Pittsburgh pushed back with a four-goal second period. But the B’s battled back, netting three unanswered goals (including an empty-netter) in the third.
So, what did we learn about the team based on this effort?
“Well, we know how to win,” head coach Bruce Cassidy told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickey, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “You know, our top players are going to bring it every night, and they worked tonight. And … we needed a few guys to step up a little bit. We didn’t play our best. … We didn’t play our way. And credit to Pittsburgh. I think it’s the best team we’ve seen to this point. I know it’s still early in the year, and they were full value for their league. They never stopped playing.
“But again, we made some plays in the third, got some saves we needed, and I think we were very fortunate to get the two points. But it’s a long year, we’ll take them and get ready for Montreal.”
Now, here’s the question: can the Bruins maintain this momentum with a quick turnaround Tuesday night against the Canadiens?
Here are some more notes from Monday’s Bruins-Penguins game:
— This Bruins squad continues to produce impressive statistics.
For the third season in a row, Boston has managed to earn at least one point in 10 or more straight games. The longest streak of its kind in franchise history came between the 1975-76 and 1979-80 seasons.
The only two teams that have had longer stretches in the 15 years are the San Jose Sharks (five seasons — 2006-07 to 2010-11) and the Detroit Red Wings (five seasons — 2005-06 to 2009-10).
— Brad Marchand’s hot start just keeps getting hotter.
In addition to extending his point streak to 13 games, Marchand also earned his second five-point game of the season with two goals and three assists against the Pens. It also was the sixth five-point game of his career.
Marchand is just the third Bruin in the past 25 years with a point streak of 13-plus games, joining Phil Kessel (18 in 2008-09) and Adam Oates (20 in 1996-97).
He’s also the first Bruin to post multiple five-point games in his team’s first 14 games. This has happened just 10 times since the 1986-87 season.
The winger remained humble about his accomplishment after the game.
“You know they’re nice, but you don’t dwell on them,” Marchand said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “You’re going to have good nights, you’re going to have bad nights. You just try to stay even-keel all the time. At this point now, it’s like I said, it doesn’t matter in this room who has a good night as long as we win. We’re all happy and you’re going to see every guy come into this room just as happy as the next. Yeah, (nights like this are) fun to be a part of, but you don’t expect them to come often. But they’re definitely nice when they do.”
— David Pastrnak looked rather swell Monday night, as well.
Pastrnak had a goal and an assist in the Bruins’ victory over the Pens, extending his point streak to 12 games. He now leads the NHL with 14 goals.
— There’s some good news on the Charlie McAvoy front, too.
The Bruins defenseman exited Monday’s game in the third period after careening into Boston’s goal while attempting to break up a shorthanded breakaway, slamming his head on the post in the process. But Cassidy didn’t seem too concerned about McAvoy or Torey Krug, who also got banged up in the third.
“I don’t believe there’s anything more. … I think it was just the cut in the back of (McAvoy’s) head and Torey got kicked, too, up high. I’m going to assume that the worst of their damage will be some sutures.”
— Penguins defenseman John Marino scored the first goal of his NHL career. And boy, was it special.
Why so special, you ask? On top of playing on Harvard’s hockey team for three years, Marino is also a Brockton, Mass. native.
Check out his first-ever NHL goal, which gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead in the second period:
Marino’s family was in the building for the memorable occasion, and their reaction was priceless:
After the game, Marino called it a “pretty cool” moment.
“(It) definitely was a special moment there with family and friends (watching),” Marino said, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “You know, (it’ll be) something I’ll always remember.”
— The Penguins did something no team has done against the Bruins so far this season.
Pittsburgh had itself a four-goal second period, the first time the Bruins had given up more than two goals in a period this season. Luckily, Boston managed to overcome the onslaught.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images