Boston 6, Vancouver 3
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, March 13, 2017
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
VANCOUVER, BC -(Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Brad Marchand lived up to his villain’s role in Vancouver on Monday night. Marchand, who is loathed on the West Coast for helping the Bruins beat the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, scored three goals, including the winner, and assisted on another as Boston doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 at Rogers Arena.
“Yeah, (I have) lots of great memories in this building, so it is fun just to come in here and reminisce — and when you have a night like that, it just adds to those memories,” said Marchand. “We are enjoying playing the game right now, and this is just another step in the way.”
He scored all of his goals in the third period as the Bruins overcame a 3-2 second-period deficit with four unanswered goals.
“We’re obviously in a tight playoff race and we need every single point right now, so it was great that the team rallied and had a big third,” said Marchand. “It’s what we need, a good way to start the road trip, and we want to keep building now.”
Marchand recorded his second career hat trick and moved into a tie with Sidney Crosby for the NHL goal-scoring lead with 35 markers on the season. In addition, Marchand moved into second in the league points race with 74, just one behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
The Bruins (37-26-7) won for the 11th time in 14 games since Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach. The Canucks (28-32-9) suffered their fourth consecutive loss and are now 12 points below the playoff bar.
“(Marchand) came to play,” said Cassidy. “This is a leader of our hockey team that knows the urgency of where we are in the season, game in and game out, and he wants to extend the season (into the playoffs), no doubt about it.”
David Backes, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins, while Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak both had two assists. Pasternak extended his points streak to nine games.
Markus Granlund scored twice for Vancouver, and Alexander Edler added a goal. Daniel and Henrik Sedin both had two assists.
“It’s disappointing — really disappointing,” said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins about the loss. “We took a penalty at the end of the second and that hurt us (going) into the third. But saying that, we were still in a good enough position. We just didn’t finish that game.”
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask posted 26 saves for his 200th NHL career win. Canucks counterpart Ryan Miller made 38 saves as Boston outshot Vancouver 43-29.
Marchand forged a 3-3 deadlock on a power play at the 58-second mark of the third period as he backhanded in Pastrnak’s rebound after Miller stopped him on a partial breakaway and was caught facing his net. About 12 minutes later, Marchand notched his second goal as he stole the puck from Henrik Sedin in the corner, slipped it through the legs of Alex Edler and then around Miller.
“I just pulled it off the wall, one of the Sedins lost it in their feet and when I was going to the net I just had a little bit of speed and (Edler) was stopped,” said Marchand. “So I figured if I could just get it on the other side of him and try to get a whack at it, I might have a chance — and, luckily it, went in.”
“It was my mistake on the fourth one, which cost us the game,” said Henrik Sedin. “Up until that point, I didn’t feel that we were panicking in the third. They played well the whole game. I don’t think we played well enough today. We were lucky to be in it after the first.”
Krejci padded the Bruins’ lead before Marchand completed his hat trick with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Backes put the Bruins on the scoreboard first, at 6:48 of the opening period, as Patrice Bergeron’s pass went in off his skate. But Granlund put the Canucks ahead with a pair of goals 1:18 apart late in the first period.
Chara drew the Bruins even at 2-2 just under 14 minutes into the second period as his harmless-looking point shot sneaked through Miller. But Edler restored Vancouver’s lead 21 seconds later as he put in his own rebound off a shot from the wing.
Marchand, who now has 25 goals in his past 28 games, said a hostile environment motivated him to play well.
“That’s kind of when I get into it more — and (it’s) not a good idea for them,” he said.
NOTES: Several Bruins fans attended the game, and some threw hats on the ice after LW Brad Marchand’s third goal. … Canucks G Ryan Miller played the 700th game of his NHL career. … F Drew Shore earned an assist as he made his debut with the Canucks after signing as a free agent Sunday for the remainder of the season. He travelled to Vancouver from Switzerland, where he played his final game for Kloten on Saturday. … Canucks D Chris Tanev missed his second consecutive game due to food poisoning. F Markus Granlund returned after missing one game with the same problem. … Earlier Monday, the Canucks signed junior-age D Jalen Chatfield, 20, to a three-year entry-level contract. He will remain with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League.