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Talking Points: Grzelcyk, Marchand, Pastrnak Lead Bruins To 7-3 Win



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The offensive depth continued to shine for the Boston Bruins in a 7-3 drubbing of the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena Monday night.

Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk had the best game of his career with a goal and four assists. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had two goals and an assist; Craig Smith had a goal and an assist and Taylor Hall and Anton Blidh each had two assists for the Bruins who have now won five of their six games since returning from the COVID/Holiday break on January 1.

The Boston Bruins have now outscored their opponents 28-15 in those six games and scored five or more goals in four of those games.

Linus Ullmark made 27 saves and has now won four straight starts.

Former UMass Hockey star forward Conor Sheary scored two goals for the Capitals and T.J. Oshie scored his fifth of the season in the loss. The Bruins held Alexander Ovechkin goalless but he did notch an assist in the loss. Zach Fucale was pulled from the game in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots. Vitek Vanecek stopped 12 of 15 shots in relief.

GOLD STAR: Matt Grzelcyk – If there was any doubt about Grzelcyk not having the mental toughness to play on the top defensive pairing with Charlie McAvoy, the Boston Bruins defenseman erased it once again in the first period. After his teammates killed off an interference call on Grzelcyk 8:33 into the first period, Grzelcyk made a blind backhanded pass out from the end boards to the faceoff circle that was intercepted by Capitals Sheary, who buried it for his second goal at 12:32.

It didn’t take long for Grzelcyk to bury that mistake and leave it in the past because he got the secondary assist on Pastrnak’s first goal at 18:34 of the first period and then the primary on Marchand’s game-tying goal at 19:14 of the opening frame. Grzelcyk wasn’t done though as he gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead with his second goal of the season 2:51 into the second period and then grabbed another secondary helper on Erik Haula’s goal that made it 6-2 13:09 into the middle frame.

This was Grzelcyk’s first five-point game of his career and he became the third Bruins player to have four points or more in a game this season.



Grzelcyk also became the first Boston Bruins defenseman to record five points since Ray Bourque (five assists) on Jan. 1, 1994, which was four days before Grzelcyk, 28, was born. The former Bruins captain and hall of famer made sure to congratulate Grzelcyk following the game:




BLACK EYE: Grzelcyk Pass To Sheary – Matt Grzelcyk had a first period to remember and it did not begin well. After his teammates killed off an interference penalty he took at 8:33, Grzelcyk committed a cardinal sin play they teach you not to do in Pee-Wee hockey. With the Bruins already down 1-0 and the Capitals still pressuring, Grzelcyk scooped up the puck along the end boards to Ullmark’s right. Instead of switching it to the forehand and rimming it up the boards, Grzelcyk backhanded the puck towards the near faceoff circle, and Sheary buried the gift-wrapped present past the Boston Bruins goalie. Grzelcyk simply can’t do that but he did. Give the Boston Bruins rearguard credit though because as mentioned above, he shook this brain fart off and was a beast the rest of the game finishing with a goal and four assists.



TURNING POINT: Marchand Game-Tying Goal – We say this here a lot and still the PHWA and the majority of NHL fans don’t want to give Marchand his proper due, but Brad Marchand is the best winger and one of the best players in the NHL. He should be a top 5 Hart Trophy candidate at this point of the season too. That was on full display again on Monday night. 14:42 into the first period, Marchand took a high-stick to the nose from Capitals forward Nic Dowd. Marchand returned to the bench with a bloody and likely broken nose that trainers patched him up as best they could on the bench.



Marchand returned to the ice, set up Pastrnak for his first goal of the game to make it 2-1 Capitals 18:34 into the first period, and then tied the game at two with a powerplay goal at 19:14 into the opening frame. The Bruins went on to score four straight goals from there and six total, before Oshie made it 6-3 at 14:06.


Marchand added another goal to make it 7-3 10:59 into the third period.


HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand – Clearly Marchand gets the nod here given his stats and more so the leadership he displayed in battling back from the nose injury and starting the first period comeback. This was Marchand’s second-straight two-goal game and he now has five goals and an assist in his last three games.


NOTABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak – Pasta is back! With his 12th and 13th goals of the season Pastrnak now has five goals in his last four games and looks like the Pasternak of old. Since getting switched to the second line with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall, Pastrnak has looked rejuvenated, and more importantly that trademark smile and affable personality are back once again.




BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – The number of goals Pastrnak has in his last four games since scoring his first goal since November 30 in the Bruins’ 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils last Tuesday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s unbelievable; you’re always amazed, it’s something he does every game, he’s a world-class player,” Grzelcyk said of Marchand on the NESN first intermission show. “One of the best in the world for a reason and a big part of that is his compete level. He wants it more than anyone else and he competes extremely hard. It’s inspiring for us to watch as a team and he’s an unbelievable leader for us.”

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