BOSTON — Brad Marchand put together a vintage performance Sunday during Game 4 at TD Garden as the Bruins winger scored or assisted on every Boston goal in a 5-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Marchand netted what proved to be the game-winning goal on a 5-on-3 power play 44 seconds into the third period. He then assisted on David Pastrnak’s goal some six minutes later and put the finishing touches on the series-tying victory with an empty netter.
Marchand, who recorded eight points in Boston’s last two games, offered a big-picture outlook when asked why games like Sunday bring out the best in him.
“This is what every kid kind of (hopes for), to get that opportunity and to play for that cup. And when you’re in playoff time and your back is against rope, I mean, it’s it’s do or die. You have to leave everything out there,” Marchand said. “These are the most fun games to play in, when there’s high emotion, high intensity and there’s so much riding on the line. I mean, if you can’t play in these games then, you know, what are you playing for? This is what we love and always loved.
“And so I think that’s just kind of it. There’s no better time to be at home and in a game like this where the stakes are high and you have everybody. Because it’s not just, you know, your dreams. It’s your whole team’s, the organization’s, it’s a whole city that you kind of see come out in these situations,” Marchand continued. “There’s a ton of reasons to play and to want to help the team win. I think we all feed off that and look forward to that challenge. It’s kind of hard to explain because it’s just our whole group, we’ve always kind of been like that. We love the challenge of being in playoffs and being in tough situations. It doesn’t always go your way, but when it does it’s a hell of a feeling.”
It certainly went Boston’s way Sunday. Despite missing defensemen Charlie McAvoy (COVID-19 protocol) and Hampus Lindholm, the Bruins’ “perfection line” came through for the second straight night. Patrice Bergeron (three points), David Pastrnak (goal, assist) and Marchand (two goals, three assists) accounted for four of Boston’s five goals.
Marchand was at the center of it to the surprise of nobody in the Bruins’ locker room.
“Yeah, well that’s (Marchand),” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It’s the time of year he loves to play. He’s shown that. … Again, it’s bright lights time and I think (Marchand) has always been pretty good with that. And tonight it really worked out for him.”
Bergeron added: “I think that’s what he does. It’s just who he is. I think he’s always finding a way to get better and takes it upon himself to help the team in any way you can. And he always rises to the occasion every time there’s a big moment. There’s no surprises there.”