That did not age well.
The Red Wings came into TD Garden on Tuesday night and wouldn’t go away, countering all five of the Bruins’ goals to force overtime.
But the Bruins have Brad Marchand. The Red Wings don’t.
Marchand scooped up a loose puck, deked Jimmy Howard out of his skates, and roofed a backhand, eliciting a hail of hats (many of them given away for free just hours before) as the Bruins took home the two points on the back of his three goals.
The OT winner was the 11th of Marchand’s career, a Bruins record.
“A bit of a lucky bounce,” Marchand said of the goal. “I was kind of hoping Torey [Krug] was going to get it there for the hat trick.” Krug also had two goals in the game and was dominant for stretches.
Krug and the Bruins wasted no time getting the scoring started, stepped into a slap shot from the point and beat Wings goalie Jared Coreau just 37 seconds in. Just 15 seconds later, Jake Debrusk sliced through the defense and attempted a pass that bounced off Jonathan Ericsson and in, making it 2-0 Bruins just 52 seconds into the game. Coreau, making his first NHL appearance of the season had a rough outing.
From there, what could have been a laugher turned into a back-and-forth tug of war. Frans Nielsen quickly answered on the power play with a sharp wrister, then Mike Green finished off a strong Red Wings shift to tie it at 2 at the 7:53 mark of the first period.
Marchand found Krug with a picture perfect pass on the power play to take the lead at 13:48, and the lead would hold into the second.
The second period was a struggle between Marchand and Anthony Mantha. Marchand scored on the power play, thanks to a lovely passing sequence, at 3:27, signalling the end of Coreau’s night. Howard, fresh off his seventh straight start, came in to relieve. Mantha got it back at 12:03, cleaning up a bouncing puck. Marchand countered about a minute later with a bank shot off Howard. But Mantha came right back, sneaking by a spent Zdeno Chara for a goal 92 seconds later to shrink the Bruins’ lead to 5-4.
Just as the second period expired, David Backes went high and late with a bad hit on Frans Nielsen. Nielsen went straight to the locker room and did not return. Keep an eye out for a supplementary discipline hearing for Backes. He would answer for the hit early on in the third, obliging Ericsson in a fight (and winning).
The third period was a calmer affair, as it took until the 9:46 mark for a goal to be scored. This time, it was Martin Frk, just as a softish Sean Kuraly tripping penalty expired, bouncing a puck off David Krejci and by Khudobin. The score would remain tied at five through the end of regulation. Marchand did the rest.
Asked about the back and forth nature of the game, David Pastrnak tried to toe the company line on needing to be better defensively, but couldn’t help himself: “To be honest, it was a fun game, and hockey’s supposed to be fun, right?”
Yeah, it is. And this game sure was.
The Bruins play next on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.