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Brad's Goal Beat the Bolts

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said he could feel the frustration from forward Brad Marchand.


Marchand celebrates his goal with center Tyler Seguin against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period of Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, in Boston on Monday, May 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
After starting the playoffs on a high, the rookie had failed to notch a point against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Like the rest of the B's, during the first period of last night's 3-1 win over Tampa Bay, Marchand was feeling the pressure to perform.

"He’s a young player," said Julien. "He’s a first-year player and his intentions are so good that sometimes when things don’t go his way, he has a tendency to get a little frustrated.

"The minute I saw that in the first period, I had a talk with him to settle down, stay positive, and things would work out.

"I really feel that that goal helped him settle down and he was a better player afterwards."

That goal, Marchand's sixth of the postseason and the eventual game-winner, came off a cross ice pass, feathered through the Tampa Bay defense, and deposited by the B's left wing behind the Bolts' usual backup, Mike Smith (who got the starting nod in Game 5) at 15:56 of the second.

"It’s been a frustrating series and it’s been a battle every night," said Marchand. "[Zdeno Chara] made a great play down to Bergy there and I just went to the net with my stick on the ice.

"I didn’t even see it coming, I just was hard on my stick, I knew Bergy was coming to me and he made an unbelievable pass and I just put it in the open net."

Boston's opening 20-minutes had fans and players alike scratching their heads, however, and the B's went to the locker room looking at 1-0 deficit, having been out-shot 14-4.

"It was a frustrating period, that first one, but we knew when we went in the room we just had to clean it up a bit," said Marchand. "We had to focus and kind of relax.

"It just seemed like we were a little tense in the first period so when we went back in we wanted to relax a bit and focus on our game.

"I think we were a little worried about what they were going to do out there and maybe the talk about Smith got in our head a bit, so we just wanted to relax and get pucks in deep and battling down low in the corners."

Smith had been unbeaten by Boston over two games of relief work, but made his first postseason start on Monday.

"Yeah, I think they were playing a little bit of mind games there on who they were going to start, but we knew either way we had to get traffic in front of their goalie," said Marchand. "Every time we played Smith so far he’s been seeing the puck pretty clearly.

"We knew it didn’t matter who we were going to be playing, we had to focus on what we had to do to score and that was getting bodies in front of the net and pucks in the net and we did that pretty good tonight."

But as the third period began, both teams upped their intensity and while the B's worked to hold their lead, the Lightning showed their desperation.

"It was very nerve wracking," admitted Marchand. "Every time they got the puck guys were on edge and every time we got it we were just yelling chip it out.

"We were like 12-year-old kids out there. Everyone was really excited and it was just very intense the last half of the game."

After the game, Coach Julien said he was excited to see the chemistry return to Bergeron's trio.

"Patrice is capable of making those plays. We’ve seen those goals this year from him and even Marchand driving the net and with [Mark] Recchi -- that line, they seem to find each other pretty nicely," he said. "There’s some chemistry there and they’ve made some of those plays.

"Obviously, tonight this is a winning goal for us and at a great time.

"I think it really gave us some confidence because, you know, I felt our team tightened first period. When we scored that second goal, it kind of loosened our guys up a little bit."

Marchand said the B's made some good adjustments in the second half of the contest.

"We had a lot of turnovers in the first and we were getting away from our game," said Marchand. "We wanted to get it in deep and work down low in the corners. That’s our game.

"They have too much skill to be turning the puck over at the blueline and they always get a lot of opportunities of the rush like that, so we knew we had to clean that up in the second and the third and we corrected that and played great after that."

Boston will have to play "great" again during Wednesday night's Game 6 in Tampa Bay.

Just one win will put the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990.

"It’s an unbelievable feeling, but we’re still a long ways away," said Marchand. "That one game could take forever to get here.

"We have to make sure we kind of let this go and we bring the emotion from this game to the next one.

"We've got to keep it out of our heads because we still have another big win to get."
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