It didn’t take long for Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand to get up to speed after serving a six-game suspension as the top-line forward recorded three points in a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Marchand twice gave the Bruins a one-goal lead, including what proved to be the eventual game-winner three minutes into the third, all while assisting on the insurance goal by Patrice Bergeron. Marchand, however, was left praising the teammates who made each of his goals happen.
The first of the two Marchand goals came as Charlie McAvoy finished a check and got the Bruins turning defense into offense. Erik Haula then won a battle along the boards and fed it to Jake DeBrusk, who made a perfectly-placed pass to Marchand on the odd-man rush. Marchand finished with a twine-seeking one-timer to light the lamp.
“Well, it started with (Erik) Haula, he did a great job winning a battle on the wall,” Marchand said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “And when you take care of little details like that good things happen. And he made a great play to Jake and Jake made another great play. So, yeah, two good plays on that goal.”
Marchand’s second goal was made possible by an individual effort from Taylor Hall, who hustled to retrieve a puck and slid an angle-defying pass to Marchand on the opposite dot. Marchand did the rest with another one-timer.
“Yeah, he made a hell of a play there,” Marchand said of Hall. “There wasn’t a whole lot of room. I kind of looked at him as if like, there’s no way he’s gonna try to make that pass. But again, another very gifted player, made a very highly skilled play there to put us in the lead. So great play by him especially late in the shift, you know, sometimes you’re not always thinking straight, but he did a great job on that one.”
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said much of the same: “… But at the end of the day, nice plays by high-end players.”
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Sharks:
— Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman wasn’t overly challenged through the first two periods but made a handful of high-level saves in crunch time — including an insane glove stop to keep Boston out front.
Cassidy referred to that specific stop as an “All-World save,” and was impressed by Swayman’s overall effort, which included 15 saves on 16 shots.
“He’s just getting better and better,” Cassidy said as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “And again a few puck plays we’ve got to talk to more, thought we can sort of increase our efficiency on the breakouts, you know, that’s in a challenging area for us … But in terms of stopping the puck, he looked square all night and some traffic around the front of the net where he’s recovering well now. A lot of good in his game.”
— DeBrusk, who was elevated to the top line before Thursday’s first game on the road trip, now has five points in the last four games. He played 13:32 with a pair of shots and the assist on Marchand’s first goal.
Marchand can see the winger’s confidence coming along.
“His biggest thing is when he moves his feet and he competes,” Marchand said of DeBrusk. “He’s been doing that lately, and he’s getting rewarded for it. He has too much talent, he’s too fast, too skilled to not do a lot of good things on the ice when he’s skating, competing. And he’s been doing that recently. It’s been great to see and he’s fun to play with when when he’s playing like that.”
— Jesper Froden played his second NHL game Saturday night. The fourth-line winger played 10:34 with two shots in the win.
— The Bruins return to action Monday as they travel to face the Los Angeles Kings with puck drop set for 10:30 p.m. ET. You can watch Monday’s game, along with pregame coverage, starting at 10 p.m. on NESN.