Brad Marchand

5 Things We Learned as Brad Marchand’s 5 points spark comeback win in Columbus

Ken Laird
October 13, 2016 - 6:15 pm
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The Bruins trailed 2-0 after one period and 3-1 midway through the contest, but a magical night from Brad Marchand — along with his linemates David Pastrnak and David Backes — sparked a 6-3 Bruins comeback win in their 2016 season opener Thursday in Columbus. Marchand, fresh off a championship with Team Canada in the World Cup and a new eight year, $49 million offseason deal, put together his second career five-point night with two goals and three assists. Marchand's two tallies came in the third period to break a 3-3 tie, the first following a Pastrnak breakaway chance at the 9:54 mark and the second at 15:25 on a brilliant individual effort. Marchand started the later sequence from his own blue line and up the right wing wall before dancing through Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara to roof one past Sergei Bobrovsky in the low slot. A Pastrnak empty-net goal capped off the incredible 12-point night from the Bruins newly-formed top line. The Bruins next play Saturday at 7pm in Toronto in what should be an electric atmosphere with the league's top-overall draft pick Auston Matthews coming off a four-goal debut in his team's opener in Ottawa Wednesday. Here are four more things we learned Thursday: BACKES MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT Alternate captain — and longtime Marchand accomplice — Patrice Bergeron didn't make the trip to Columbus due to injury, so early plans to have Backes play with David Krejci were scrapped in favor of Backes taking Bergeron's place on line one. Backes scored two goals in the second to pull Boston out of a 3-1 deficit. The first came at 13:36 of the frame on a hard rebound off the back wall from a Zdeno Chara blast. The cleanup goal capped an impressive sequence of zone time with Chara, Marchand and rookie Brandon Carlo chipping in with keep-ins at the attacking blue line. Backes followed it up with a marker at 17:12 on a nifty deflection of a Pastrnak one-timer, slowing the puck slightly and pulling the puck inside the post and behind Bobrovsky. Winger Jimmy Hayes deserves credit for tilting the ice prior to the game-tying goal, providing excellent forecheck before getting off the ice for fresh troops. ROUGH FIRST FOR THE ROOKS It was far from a perfect night for Boston, with the team's star players having to carry the action for much of the night. It was a particularly tough opening period for rookies Austin Czarnik, Rob O'Gara, and Brandon Carlo. An O'Gara giveaway led to a quality Blue Jackets scoring chance, and a Czarnik penalty in the offensive zone led to a quick Columbus power-play goal as Carlo let a pass go through the crease for a tap-in by Cam Atkinson. All three players appeared to settle down as the game wore on, with the finishing ice-times at 17:48 for Carlo, 15:11 for Czarnik, 12:59 for O'Gara; fellow rookie Danton Heinen finished with 11:25 of ice time playing alongside Krejci and Ryan Spooner. STATS WITHOUT BERGERON Despite missing an elite faceoff man in Bergeron, the squad held their own in the circle as newcomer Riley Nash won 10 of 13 draws and Krejci stepped up for 11 of 16 in the win column. Backes finished 9 of 23 while Czarnik was just 1 of 6. Not surprisingly, the B's top Corsi players were Carlo and Chara (+8 and +6) as they played with the Bruins' top line for most of the night and controlled chunks of zone time. Carlo, Chara, Marchand and Backes all finished a +5 in conventional plus/minus, with Pastrnak an incredible +6 on the evening. Krejci (-6) brought up the Corsi rear in a game he was placed in an obvious defensive role. SEASON OPENING LINEUP Bruins coach Claude Julien opened the season with more rookies on the roster than he's ever had, with the 19-year-old Carlo, 21-year-old Heinen and 23-year-olds O'Gara and Czarnik. According to NESN, it's the first time the Bruins have had four NHL debuts in an opener since  Oct 10,1985 with Alain Cote, Kraig Niehuis, Dave Passin, and Michael Thelven. Including backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, the B's had eight new faces dressed with Backes, Heinen, Czarnik, Moore, Nash, Carlo, and O'Gara. Here were the Bruins' opening line combinations: 63 Marchand -42 Backes - 88 Pastrnak 51 Spooner - 46 Krejci - 43 Heinen 39 Beleskey - 27 Czarnik - 11 Hayes 28 Moore - 20 Nash - 55 Acciari 33 Chara - 25 Carlo 47 Krug - 44 O'Gara 26 Liles - 6 C. Miller Rask

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