Brad Marchand tore up the World Cup of Hockey, and on Thursday night in a packed rink of 18,000+ in central Ohio, the 28-year-old Nova Scotia native continued his impressive stretch of dominance.
Marchand’s 2 goals and 3 assists keyed a Boston comeback; Boston trailed 2-0 at the conclusion of the opening period and 3-1 with just under 15 minutes to play in the middle frame.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg beat Tuukka Rask clean glove-side with a wrister from the high-slot, just under 3 minutes into the game. Not how the B’s drew it up, but Rask would bounce back after his early softie, stopping 28 of 31 shots — many coming from high quality areas.
Pretty much every Columbus shot is high danger. Good luck, Rask. pic.twitter.com/CUhYlxiF8U— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) October 14, 2016
Columbus, on the man advantage, stretched the lead to a pair when Cam Atkinson snuck away from Brandon Carlo in front and potted a Nick Foligno feed into an open net.
In the second, Boston struck early when Marchand capitalized on a Blue Jackets turnover behind the net and fed Pastrnak in front. The slim deficit didn’t last: Seth Jones tallied his first of the season 4:12 later.
The Bruins, to their credit, shut the door after the Jones goal. Maligned free agent acquisition David Backes, affectionately known as Home Depot due to his abundance of sandpaper, shifted his attention from hitting everything in sight, to putting every puck he saw past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Backes scored a pair of net-front goals in the middle frame, evening the score and temporarily hushing those critical of his contract that is far too generous in terms of length.
Backes Goal 1:
Backes Goal 2:
Marchand went to work midway through the frame, tallying the first of two goals to put Boston in front, capitalizing on a rebound following a David Pastrnak breakaway. Marchand added his second goal at 15:25, and Pastrnak sealed the victory with an empty-netter with under a minute remaining.
Brandon Carlo tallied in an assist in his NHL debut, joining David Krejci, Zdeno Chara and Ryan Spooner as the only non-members of the first line to record a point.
Boston returns to action Saturday night, traveling to the Air Canada Centre where Marchand and Auston Matthews will duke it out to prove who is indeed the greatest hockey player on the face of the planet. Puck drop is set for 7pm.
You can follow Nolan Cardwell on twitter @mvpbaseball2003.
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