WASHINGTON, DC --
There's no doubt that Brad Marchand
woke up on Thursday with a smile on his face.
|Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand, right, scores an unassisted goal on Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Don Heupel) |
The young forward scored a shorthanded, breakaway goal that spurred the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night in Western New York.
"I tried to finish my check on the point there, and I actually got caught out of position," admitted Marchand. "[A Buffalo player] jumped by me.
"The guy in the corner didn't realize that and threw it blindly and I was able to capitalize.
"I saw that I had a breakaway, so I just wanted to get a quick shot off.
"Fortunately it went in," he said.
Marchand's goal came 29 games into his NHL career -- a stat not lost on the forward, who has been a goal producer at each level he's played.
"I think I have had at least two [scoring chances] every single game," said Marchand of the B's first nine games. "It's been real frustrating that it wasn't going in.
"But I knew I just had to bear down and it was going to come eventually."
The picturesque quality of the 3/4 rink sprint to beat Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth wasn't lost on Marchand who had recently talked about getting a "garbage" goal in order to get his personal totals moving.
"I was hoping [it would be special]," said Marchand with a chuckle. "By this time I figured it was going to be a rebound, a greasy goal.
"But it was nice to get one on the breakaway -- those always feel good."
Marchand's tally was just the first of a five-goal attack that kept Buffalo at bay, even as the struggling Sabres tried to battle back in the second and third periods.
"They're a struggling team and to get a goal early on it's big for our confidence and it really kills their momentum and their confidence. It was huge for us," said Marchand, who noted that the game got chippy in its final 30-minutes.
"They've got a couple of tough guys over there and when any team is down four or five goals they want to spark the team and get some energy and that's the way to do it."
Marchand said that he had tried to stop thinking about his first NHL goal.
"I was really worrying about it," said Marchand. "But today I just kind of came into the game and said I wanted to play hard, play smart and do all the little things right. And then try not to focus on it at all.
"Fortunately it went in and I got one."
Brad said that the first phone call after the game would be to his mom and dad, but that he expected that his cell phone might be busy over the next day or so.
"I'd imagine there will be a couple [messages] to respond to," said Marchand.