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Talking Points: Boston Bruins, Marchand Pull Things Out In OT



Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 2-1 overtime win over the New York Islanders in Game 3 at a raucous Nassau Coliseum.

GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand nearly pushed the Boston Bruins to an unlikely Game 2 win by extending things to overtime with a goal late in the third period, and he played the hero again with an OT game-winner in a pivotal Game 3 on Long Island. Marchand scored on a bad angle shot from outside the faceoff circle that clearly seemed to catch Semyon Varlamov by surprise as he snapped it top corner from across the ice. It was Marchand’s second OT game-winner of these playoffs and continues a long string of clutch goals in this postseason. Marchand finished with a goal, four shots on net, six shot attempts and a plus-1 rating in 18:59 of ice time, and the entire Perfection Line still managed 21 shot attempts despite the best efforts of Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s line to play a checking role against them on Thursday night.

BLACK EYE: No shot attempts. No hits. No blocked shots. No anything aside from one lost face-off attempt for Jake DeBrusk in an extremely quiet 12:32 of ice time in Game 3. I seem to remember at least one hit that DeBrusk threw during the game that could have been counted on the stat sheet, but other than it was pretty accurate as a ghost performance for the third line winger after dropping back to his customary spot. It’s too bad because DeBrusk was very good in Game 2 and he actually stood out as somebody that was a scoring threat for the Bruins in that overtime, but in Game 3 none of that stuff was happening for the young winger. It almost makes the casual Bruins observer wish they had gone with Karson Kuhlman instead of DeBrusk largely on autopilot.

TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins need to survive the rush by the Islanders once they tied the game in the third period and took advantage of a B’s mistake in the defensive zone. They did that thanks to some clutch Tuukka Rask saves both during the third period and overtime, and they did that by avoiding any possible frustration while Semyon Varlamov was standing on his head making 21 saves in the third period to keep Boston off the board. They simply stuck with it, leaned on their experience in these kinds of games and then eventually busted through when Marchand threw a bad angle shot on net that scored as the OT game-winner for the Bruins. It was all about regrouping in the intermission following the third period and the B’s absolutely did that.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask had some legit questions about his overall health when he looked “off” during the Game 2 loss to the Islanders, but the Bruins No. 1 netminder looked back on his game on Thursday night. Rask wasn’t able to completely seal off the post on the one third period score for the Islanders that tied up the game, but there were defensive breakdowns around the net as well on that particular play. Beyond that Rask was perfect while stopping 28 shots and matching Semyon Varlamov in a low-scoring affair until Brad Marchand could pot the game-winner in OT. Rask continues to play at a very high level during this postseason, but all of the health questions continue to bear watching as the Black and Gold move forward.

BY THE NUMBERS: 102 – the number of career playoff points (42 goals, 60 assists in 129 career playoff games) for Brad Marchand, which pulls him into a tie with Phil Esposito for fourth place all-time on the Boston Bruins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “In overtime you can’t pass up a shot and that was another example of it.” –Brad Marchand, on the bad angle shot in overtime that managed to beat Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov.

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