BOSTON — Brad Marchand didn’t look like he lost a beat as the Bruins took home a victory in his season debut against the Detroit Red Wings.
The left wing scored two power play goals for Boston, and he assisted on the game’s opening goal at TD Garden. Marchand’s return sped up his original timeline, but the left wing had planned to make an early return to be back on the ice.
“It’s great to get back into the a game like this, where there’s success, and it’s just so nice to be part of it again,” Marchand said. “When you’re watching it, obviously you’re a part of it, but it’s completely a different feeling being with the guys on the ice and being in the mix. Long road but very excited to be part of the team again and get a victory.”
The Bruins held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, but the Black and Gold tallied three goals in the final period to win their seventh game of the season, continuing the hot stretch Jim Montgomery’s squad have been on to start the year.
“You could tell he was a little rusty in the beginning,” Montgomery said of Marchand. “He wasn’t hitting pucks cleanly, and then, boy, the last 30 minutes, that was special, the power play was special. I thought the first 40 minutes of the game, unfortunately, (Jeremy) Swayman had to be our best player, and he was. He was fantastic, made a lot of big time saves.”
Marchand played 17:31 on Thursday, and Boston extending its lead had a small part to play in why the left wing’s minutes were cut down in the third period, with Montgomery jokingly saying Marchand would have played 19 minutes if the contest was closer.
“I thought he was a world class player,” Montgomery said. “Coaching with him today confirmed he’s a world class player. It’s amazing how he comes up with pucks. The puck is in between three bodies, and he’s like a little … Tasmanian devil. He’s twirling all around. The puck just seems to follow him. It’s amazing, it is. But he tracks it, he fights for it. But you’re all for it. That’s why you love him.”
Here are some more notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Red Wings:
— Swayman had a solid rebound performance compared to his lasting outing against the Ottawa Senators. The goalie only let one shot pass by him as he nabbed 28 saves Thursday night.
— David Krejci left the game with an upper-body injury. Montgomery said the center will not travel with the team when the Bruins take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. The plan before the game was to not have Marchand play back-to-back games, and Montgomery said Pavel Zacha could move to center, like he did when Krejci left Thursday’s game.
— David Pastrnak was tied as the leader in the NHL in points with 12. He added three more with a power play goal and two assists.
— Speaking of the power play, the Bruins improved in that area. The Black and Gold were 3-for-6 with a man advantage — the last power-play opportunity came with less than 30 seconds in the game. Boston was also 0-for-5 on the penalty kill thanks to Swayman and the defense.
— Hampus Lindholm proved to be aggressive on offense and defense. The defenseman notched two assists on the night.
— The Bruins take on the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Friday in the back end of a back-to-back. Puck drop is scheduled at 7 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, along with an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.