The Boston Bruins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets on the back of Brad Marchand when the captain recorded a natural hat trick in the third period of Sunday night’s matchup at TD Garden.

Scoring three times in the opening 7:46 of the final frame, Marchand notched his sixth career hat trick in the win. The Bruin captain joked that his first goal that beat Blue Jackets goaltender Spencer Martin was a gift.

“Nah, I completely missed the first shot,” Marchand said on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He misjudged the speed and lucky goal. The second two I tried to shoot through a screen. … I kinda felt like it was there and tried to use the guys as a screen and luckily they went in.”

The pesky forward may have felt lucky about his goals finding the back of the net, but Bruins’ head coach Jim Montgomery had nothing but praise for the 15-year veteran.

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“What a competitor,” Montgomery said on NESN’s postgame coverage “It doesn’t matter what happened before. His ability to go out and make something happen the next shift has always been very impressive to me. The way he galvanized our group in the third by simplifying and obviously some great goals.”

Marchand not only scored the Bruins three goals in the win over the Blue Jackets, but he also notched the overtime winner against the Toronto Maple Leafs the night before.

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“He’s a true leader and we all knew that from the beginning,” Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman said on NESN’s postgame coverage. “For him to take it on his back and not take no for an answer after a back-to-back is what leaders do and he’s going to show up at the right times and he’s been doing that his whole career.”

The three goals Marchand potted were from different areas of the ice, which Swayman said is an indication of the type of player that he is.

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“He’s a world-class player and he’s going to keep goalies guessing,” Swayman said. “He does that in practice all the time so I get a front-row seat for his talent every day. I think it only helps our team and our goaltending.”

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Here are more notes from Sunday’s Bruins-Blue Jackets game:

— Marchand’s natural hat trick was the first of his career and he recorded the third-fastest three goals by one player to begin a period in Bruins history behind Leo Labine in the middle period of Boston’s 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 28, 1954 and the first-period hat trick by Bobby Bauer against the Maple Leafs on Nov. 20, 1946.

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— The Bruins’ penalty kill successfully kept the Blue Jackets from scoring a power-play goal over four opportunities while Boston’s power-play connected on two of its six man advantages.

— The Black and Gold celebrated Hockey is for Everyone Night at TD Garden on Sunday night with honorary captains on the ice during the national anthem. Swayman said it shows hockey is more than a game.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It just gives you an extra edge to understand that hockey is more than a game and there’s people that are playing it all over the world for different reasons and we’re inclusive and I think hockey players are proud to be.

“Really special to see those kids come out on the ice tonight. Seeing those smiles on their faces and having some dreams come true. They gotta know that they’re an inspiration for us too and we support everyone that’s playing hockey around the world, no matter what level and really special to keep growing the game.”

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— The Bruins host the Sabres on Thursday night in Boston’s second matchup against Buffalo this season. Puck drop from TD Garden is slated for 7 p.m. ET and you can watch it live on NESN following an hour of pregame coverage.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images