Brad Marchand gets ‘the monkey off the back’ and Bruins get a win
|05.17.13 at 12:39 am ET|
Much was made of Tyler Seguin not scoring a goal in the seven-game series against the Leafs, and for good reason. After all, if the Bruins figure to go deep in the playoffs, they will eventually need one of their better players to get going offensively.
But the same could also be said of Brad Marchand, who also went goal-less in round No. 1.
He had three assists but no goals as the Bruins survived in seven games.
Marchand picked a great time to end his drought Thursday night against the Rangers.
Marchand took a perfect feed from Patrice Bergeron on an odd-man rush and beat Henrik Lundqvist at 15:40 of overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“I think it might’ve been Z [Zdeno Chara] who had a nice poke check on the three-on-two there,” Marchand said. “And then Bergy did a really good job. I was able to get a little bit of space, he made a great pass, and I just put it in the open net.
“It felt great. We had a really good game tonight, and to be able to finish it off with a win is very big. We’re happy that we’re able to capitalize in these overtime games. They’re very tough games to be in, but we’re happy with the win tonight.”
It was obvious in overtime that the Bruins, thanks in part to a Rangers penalty, picked up valuable momentum due to their re-energized power play, which didn’t scored but put six shots on goal.
“Yeah, it’s a whole new series and we’re happy to play the Rangers,” Marchand said. “They’re a very good team and a very good battle. It’s nice to finally get one there and get the monkey off the back, and hopefully they keep coming.
“That’s usually how it goes in the playoffs. One team does very well in overtime and then the other team gets a lucky one. We hit so many posts and had so many very good opportunities. They were bound to get one. But, again, we’re very happy to get the win tonight.”
Marchand pointed to the six shots on the power play as the key to maintaining energy in the extra period.
“That’s what you need your power play to do,” Marchand said. “Obviously, we didn’t have the best power play all year, but we’re starting to come around. If we’re not scoring, then we’re getting some opportunities. You want to get some momentum off of those. In overtime especially, we had some really good opportunities but we didn’t finish. We just seemed to feed off of that and played very well after that.”
Why did Marchand have so much energy left in overtime? Simple, he bailed on the morning skate early, practically admitting to faking an injury to get off the ice early Thursday morning, when he was doubled over leaving the ice.
“Yeah, exactly, I didn’t want to waste my energy there this morning,” Marchand said. “I felt I had some good jump tonight.
“I wasn’t worried at all. I’m serious, I wanted to get off the ice. Claude knows I hate morning skates. He used to yell at me when we won the [Stanley] Cup there because I wouldn’t even take a stride. I just wanted to get off early.”
Between leaving the ice early and arriving at the Garden for Game 1, Marchand received a text from old friend and 2011 Cup teammate Mark Recchi.
“He just texted me and told me to play my game and not to worry about anything else,” Marchand said. “The goals and stuff will come. It’s nice to hear from him. He’s obviously a guy that I went through a lot when I played with him, and it was good to hear from him again.”