Brad Marchand Stays Hot as Boston Bruins Spoil Shawn Thornton’s Return


70. 1. 97. Final. 2

Tuesday night marked Shawn Thornton‘s return to Boston for the first time since leaving the team this past offseason. The Boston Bruins had work to do, but that doesn’t mean they were going to snub their old friend.

Video credit @PeteBlackburn

David Krejci was a scratch for his second straight game and Matt Fraser would have another chance at making an impact in the lineup.

The first period was uneventful, with neither team generating much offense. Thornton started the game for the Panthers, but his gloves would stay on to Bruins fans’ dismay. The second period started off poorly and it looked like the B’s may have needed another third period comeback attempt. Former Bruin Brad Boyes dropped a nice pass over to Jussi Jokinen for a one-timer, beating Tuukka Rask to begin the scoring. However, just three minutes later, an offensive zone turnover for the Panthers would lead to a Patrice Bergeron goal to tie the game 1-1. Reilly Smith jarred the puck loose along the wall, allowing Brad Marchand to chip a pass over to Bergeron whose quick shot beat Roberto Luongo up high.

The Bergeron line would have another chance later in the period, as Smith found Marchand for a partial breakaway. However, Marchand was unable to lift the puck over Luongo’s pads, and the game would remain tied going into the third period.

The B’s would come out gunning in the third period and had several great scoring chances in the first five minutes. The most notable came on a Dougie Hamilton pass across the crease, but Seth Griffith was unable to find the loose puck after it was deflected.

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The Panthers followed with a few strong chances of their own, including a hit post with six minutes left in the period.

With the clock winding down in the third, the Bruins had some bad luck when the refs missed a blatant high stick on Loui Eriksson that would have led to their first powerplay of the night. Instead, no more goals would be scored in regulation and the game would head into overtime for the second time in three contests for the black and gold.

Head Coach Claude Julien would use three forwards in overtime as we’ve seen him do in the past. Not surprisingly, the Bergeron line would get the call to start OT and had a few chances too. Dennis Seidenberg found Marchand streaking towards the net, but the puck was too hot to handle.

However, the Nose Face couldn’t be contained for much longer. With 1:33 left in OT, Marchand dipsy-doodled around Dylan Olsen and beat Luongo high on the blocker side for the game winner. It was Marchand’s third straight game with a goal and his second overtime winner in the past three games.

Shawn Thornton ended up playing a career-high 16:03 in the game.

The Bruins will host the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, but unfortunately will not be seeing Andrew Ference, as he was recently suspended.