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An Early Present

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Brad Marchand couldn't really remember the last time he completed a hat trick.


Marchand (photo: Steve Babineau)
"I don’t even think I got one in Junior, but I think maybe back in Midget," said Marchand after he scored three goals against the Floria Panthers in a 8-0 B's win on Christmas Eve eve. "No, that’s a lie, I got one in Junior.

"Only one though," he added.

Tonight, only one goal would have been enough for Marchand the Bruins who dropped eight goals on a very tired Panthers squad that had played three games in four nights.

In his fifth multiple-point game of the campaign, Marchand's second three point effort of the season put the game far out of the reach of the surprising Panthers.

"The first one, I came out of the corner with the puck. It was actually a great play by Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] to get it out of our zone on the PK, and when I came out from the corner there just seemed to be a little bit of open ice in the middle and I tried to get there and just get a shot off and it went in," said Marchand of his shorthanded goal at 5:56 of the first period to open Boston's scoring.

"The second one, Segs [Tyler Seguin] made a great play to get it over to Zee [Zdeno Chara] and he made an awesome pass to me and the goalie was down and out and I tried to pass it. That was a lucky one; it went off his skate and in.

"The third one, we were on the bench before our shift and Segs was like, ‘Be ready, if I get any pucks in the slot, I’m giving it to you.’ So when he got it I knew it was coming over so I just put it in the open net."

Patrice Bergeron admired his linemate's ability to finish.

"Yeah. He’s good at finding the puck around the net, and also finding ways to put the puck in," said Bergeron. "He’s pretty resilient, too, just to find ways to score.

"Right now he’s playing really well, and you can’t ask more than four goals in two games, can you?"

B's Head Coach Claude Julien agreed and said Marchand's goals were signs of marked improvement in the B's ability to capitalize on their scoring opportunities.

"Tonight, when you look at Marchand’s last goal, he made sure he picked the top corner and didn’t just throw it at the net," said Julien. "Our guys are bearing down on the scoring chances, and that’s helping us a lot. But you know there’s grit – a good element of grit, speed and skill in our game and that’s what makes us a decent [team]."

Marchand wasn't focused on his own finish, as much as he was on the B's ability to put away the Panthers.

"Well, they’re a great club and they have a lot of firepower over there," said Marchand. "I think we had a little bit of revenge on the mind after what happened last time when they came here and shut us out in our own building, especially when we were pretty hot at the time.

"So, the guys were all very excited for this game and everyone did a great job of getting up for it."

As for his own firepower, Marchand remained humble about his first career NHL hat trick.

"I think I’ve just been fortunate enough to play with great players and I just kind of feed off them and get some lucky goals," said Marched. "It’s a lot of fun being on this team and being in the winning ways right now, so hopefully it keeps going."

And it sounded as if the hat trick hadn't quite sunk in for Marchand.

"I never even thought I would ever get one of those in this league," he said.
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