BOSTON -- It's safe to say that Brad Marchand's offensive struggles are over.
The Boston Bruins left wing scored five goals in the first 34 games this season. In the past four games, he's exceeded that total by one.
Boston earned three points out of a possible four in back-to-back games against the past two Stanley Cup champions. The Chicago Blackhawks won 3-2 in a shootout against the Bruins at United Center on Sunday.
The Bruins' win against the Kings (29-15-6) in their second matinee in as many days was particularly impressive because while the Bruins (31-15-3) were playing in Chicago, the Kings had a day off in Boston.
"I've got to be honest here. I was pretty impressed with our team and the way we've handled these last three games, actually," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Thought we had a good start in Dallas with that win (on Thursday), and then [Sunday] was one of those great games you as a fan like to see. Wish we could've had that extra point.
"But to come out here today and play an afternoon game against a team that's a real good team - one of the elite teams in the League - obviously waiting for us here, I thought we did a good job of coming out. In the first period we had a good start, and I thought that was important for our team to come out there and let them know we're ready to play."
Marchand's second goal came 18 seconds after the Kings tied the game in the third period. He now has a four-game goal streak, with six goals in that span. His linemates Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith are on four-game point streaks.
"Yeah, I think I knew during that stretch that eventually it was going to come around," Marchand said. "I mean bounces had to start going our way and, I mean, it's nice that pucks are going in. I'm playing with [Bergeron] and [Smith], two phenomenal playmakers, and they're making it easier for me out there.
Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for the Kings, who were playing their third game of a five-game road trip (1-1-1).
"Yeah, it wasn't his fault," Kings center Anze Kopitar said of Quick. "I mean, we gave up a shorthanded goal and gave up a power play goal. I don't think there was any connection to Quick back there."
But Marchand's hot hand wasted little time putting the Bruins back ahead. Bergeron circled the net and fed the puck to Smith in the left circle. Smith dished it across to the right circle for a Marchand one-timer and a 3-2 lead at 8:53.
"Our defensemen had a tough night," Kings coach Darryl Sutter about the breakdowns that led to the deciding goal.
The Bruins' special teams owned the first period, starting with their penalty kill. Marchand scored his League-leading fourth shorthanded goal at 12:07. It took a monstrous effort for Marchand to score. He first had to beat Doughty one-on-one by passing the puck around Doughty and landing a backhand shot on Quick. The Kings goaltender made the save, but Carter's backhand clearing pass went right back to Marchand in the right circle. Marchand made a move on Kopitar and beat Quick with a wrist shot inside the far post.
"He went around me and I thought he was going to shoot it, so I went knee down and tried to block it," Kopitar said. "It went around me and it was a nice move that shouldn't have happened."
Boston's power play closed out the first-period scoring on a shot by Torey Krug, who slapped the puck from the top of the left circle next to the half wall past Quick high to the glove side with Zdeno Chara screening unscathed at the top of the blue paint at 17:51.
Willie Mitchell pulled the Kings within a goal in the second period with his first goal in 50 games. The veteran defenseman drove down the middle of the Boston zone and one-timed Mike Richards' pass past Johnson at 4:09. The Bruins maintained their 2-1 lead when 40 minutes were through, and they held an 18-12 shots edge as well.
The Bruins do not play again until they visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The Kings will play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
|Back to top|