If the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche meet in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, hockey fans will be in for a treat. The two Stanley Cup contenders battled it out with a playoff tempo that saw the Avalanche grab the two points in a 4-3 shootout win Monday night in Denver.
Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Bruins Postgame:
CLUTCH: There’s something different about Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand when he plays fellow Nova Scotians Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, but more importantly, when he matches up against the NHL’s elite like them. This past Thursday, Marchand lit the lamp twice against Crosby and the Penguins in a 6-5 Bruins loss, and on Monday night, he did the same against MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche.
As he did postgame on Thursday night with Crosby, Marchand praised MacKinnon to the media after the game day skate. He then outdueled MacKinnon, who finished with an assist, by scoring two goals in a game that has that playoff feel from start to finish. Marchand put the Bruins up 1-0 with a powerplay goal 11:21 into the first period.
Brad Marchand starts the scoring for the Bruins with his 16th goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/qjq8Bi7vK8
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) January 9, 2024
That goal tied Marchand with former Bruins captain Rick Middleton for fifth in franchise points with 898, and then he passed ‘Nifty’ when he tied the game at three 5:46 into the third period,
— NHL (@NHL) January 9, 2024
DOGHOUSE: Let’s be real; there are not many teams that can hang with the speed of the Colorado Avalanche. Basically, if you’re playing them, you just need to do your best to stay within your system and adapt where necessary. Overall, the Boston Bruins did that on Monday night. However, early in the third period, Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and center Pavel Zachaa were overcome by that speed and the pressure of the Avalanche’ forecheck. The end result was an easy goal for Avalanche forward Logan O’Connor, who Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery coached when he was the bench boss for the University of Denver.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 9, 2024
BANGER: Avalanche defenseman Sam Girard was an absolute beast for his team. Girard finished the game with four hits and five shots and was a plus +1 in 18:34.
UNSUNG HERO: In addition to Marchand, the Boston Bruins wouldn’t sniff overtime in this game if not for goalie Jeremy Swayman. As he has done all season, Swayman was there when his team needed him most, and that was especially true in the third period, when he stopped all 13 shots. Swayman made 33 saves total and has now helped his team gain points in 16 of 18 starts this season.
NEXT UP: No rest for the weary as the Bruins had to hop a flight right after going to a shootout in Denver and then fly to Phoenix. They then had to bus it to Tempe, where they will play the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena in another 9 p.m. ET puck drop.
Boston Bruins Lineup
Pavel Zacha-Morgan Geekie-David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand-Charlie Coyle-Jake DeBrusk
Danton Heinen-Matthew Poitras-Trent Frederic
John Beecher-Jesper Boqvist-Oskar Steen
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Parker Wotherspoon-Kevin Shattenkirk