Brad Marchand reached into his bag of tricks in overtime and pulled out a game-winner, lifting the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators at the Garden.
photo via ESPN.com
Marchand scored just 54 seconds into overtime, and did so in spectacular fashion. After receiving the puck at the blueline from the streaking Patrice Bergeron, Marchand stuttered and slipped the puck through the legs of the oncoming Mike Fisher.
The move opened up more than enough space for BM63 to load up and rip a seeing-eye shot that beat Preds goalie Marek Mazanec five-hole. Manzanec didn't see the shot, as Bergeron was screening in front.
The W snaps the Bruins' two game losing streak, and gets them back on track after blowing their game Tuesday vs the Islanders on New Years Eve.
After a scoreless first period, the Preds got on the board first late in the second period, when a Mike Fisher shot at a bad angle rebounded out to the open Vitkor Stalberg, and he made no mistake in burying it in the open net. The B's were caught in a bad change, as both Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid were late in getting into the defensive zone. Both players focused on Fisher, allowing Stalberg to skate in behind the unaware Ryan Spooner and pounce on the rebound.
photo via ESPN.com
The Bruins eventually tied the game at 4:55 of the third period, off the stick of Johnny Boychuck. After a nifty move from Ryan Spooner in his own zone, the ensuing rush up the ice with Carl Soderberg and Matt Fraser to his right with Boychuck as the trailer produced the tying goal. With the Preds' focus on the charging forwards, Spooner found the open Boychuck just inside the line, where he ripped the shot over the glove side of Manzanec.
The Bruins took the lead at 12:29, in a move that is becoming the top lines' trademark play. With Milan Lucic speeding down the wing and drawing the attention of Shea Weber, Jarome Iginla skated right on net and received the bullet-pass at the last second from Lucic, deflecting it past Manzanec and giving Iginla his 13th goal on the year.
But the game wasn't won just yet, as Shea Weber tied the game with 5:25 to go when he stepped into a loose puck in the slot after a broken play and launched one of his copyrighted bombs past Niklas Svedberg.
But in OT, it was Marchand who gave the B's the W and the extra point on home ice for their 27th win of the season, and their 17th at home.
Both Carl Soderberg and Doug Hamilton returned after missing extended time with injuries. Hamilton recorded the second assist on Marchand's winner, and same goes for Soderberg on Boychuck's goal.
After receiving the call-up to the big club, and being sent back down just a day later, Niklas Svedberg won his first NHL start, and looked just fine between the pipes given the circumstance.
The top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla all kept their point streaks going, which now sits at six games (Krejci - 3G 4A; Lucic - 1G 5A; Iginla - 5G 2A).
The win gives the Bruins 27 on the season and 56 points, four ahead of second place Tampa Bay. The Bruins host the Winnipeg Jets at 1 pm before embarking on an all-California roadtrip, where they'll take on the Ducks, Sharks and Kings.