|Boston Bruins' Blake Wheeler, top center, celebrates his third-period goal with Mark Recchi, left, and Michael Ryder (73) during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. The Bruins won 7-4. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) |
The NHL's active leader in career games played (1583), assists (930) and points (1494) added to those totals added to those totals and sparked the B's to an offensive explosion against his former club.
"Mark's just a true leader," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien to NESN, postgame. "I mean, he comes in and he works hard everyday.
"He's focused and he's one of the few guys that you really don't have to much to. He understands the game, understands the situations.
"And for him, coming back to Pittsburgh where a lot of his family is it was nice to see him have this type of game and I am sure he wanted to perform well," he said.
But the B's win was far from an easy one. Boston trailed 4-2, going into the third.
"We just weren't very good," said Recchi of the club's first 40 minutes. "They wanted it more than us in the first two periods and it showed.
"But in the third period we came out and played the way we're capable of playing and we capitalized on all our chances."
Recchi's goal, scored off a cross-crease feed from Tyler Seguin
, showed some of the forward's trademark tenacity. Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson made an initial right pad save and Recchi was there to put in his own rebound.
Mark then assisted on Zdeno Chara
's game-tying goal at 4:04 of the third.
And finally, after Shawn Thornton
scored the would-be game-winner, Mark helped Blake Wheeler put the game out of reach of the Penguins with an assist at 16:13.
"Well it was a great dump...by Wheeler and [Michael Ryder] made a good play to get it up to him," said Recchi. "I was just able to get a good body position and was able to steal the puck and bang the body a little bit and steal the puck.
"Wheels made a great play by driving the net and I just had to put it there and he banged it in."
But the consistent effort, which was very important in a game that the B's were missing David Krejci
, came from Recchi.
"Well, it wasn't very good to start. I'm going to tell you that," said Recchi of the club's response to losing the talented center to a concussion. "But the end response was great.
"Blake stepped in and did a great job at center. He's a big body that can skate.
"You know, you can't replace a guy like David Krejci
, but we have to suck it up as a team and suck it up as players and guys have to step up and everybody has to improve their games."
On Wednesday night, Mark Recchi did just that -- again.