Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins' Marchand hands out four assists in first victory

Matt Kalman
October 04, 2018 - 11:18 pm

Brad Marchand put his hands to better use Thursday than he did the night before.

The Bruins left wing matched a career-high with four assists in a 4-0 win at the Buffalo Sabres, as the Bruins bounced back from their embarrassing 7-0 loss at the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Late in the loss in D.C., Marchand provided one of the few Bruins signs of life when he challenged and then beat up Capitals forward Lars Eller in retaliation for what the Bruins felt was an unnecessary celebration in front of their bench in a blowout game.

After that game Capitals forward T.J. Oshie actually went as far as to the say the NHL, which earlier Tuesday suspended Washington forward Tom Wilson for 20 games, should “take care of business” with Marchand. No supplemental discipline came, and none was warranted. Any Capitals claims that Eller didn’t know Marchand was going to challenge him were quickly dispelled by video of Eller exchanging pleasantries with the Boston bench not long after his goal.

So instead of the league taking care of business, Marchand took care of the Sabres. He set the tone early with his patented pull-up-and-pass move to set up Zdeno Chara’s goal 6:33 in the game. He added the primary assist on a power-play goal by Ryan Donato and on Patrice Bergeron’s empty-net goal that sealed the victory. Marchand also had the secondary assist on a David Pastrnak goal in the second period.

Despite his numerous instances of crossing the discipline line, Marchand is a role model to all the Bruins (he’s even worn an ‘A’ on his sweater a couple times). He knew something had to be done in Washington to salvage some pride for the Bruins. And he knew what had to be done in Buffalo, where the Sabres were trying to start the Rasmus Dahlin era on the right foot. Instead Marchand stole the spotlight from the 2018 No. 1 overall pick and newly anointed Sabres captain Jack Eichel.


*Jaroslav Halak made his first start a memorable one with a 32-save shutout. He made several solid saves but overall the Bruins defended better, moving their feet to angle away puck-carriers and setting up their layers better.

Although coach Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t commit to a start for Monday’s home-opener against Ottawa, the bet here is Tuukka Rask gets a chance to restart his season after he allowed five goals and was pulled on opening night. Anyone with a semblance of hockey knowledge knows Rask wasn’t solely to blame for the Capitals debacle and the No. 1 goalie hasn’t relinquished his job two games into the season.

*Forward Anders Bjork made his season debut and he didn’t attempt a shot in 11:34 of ice time. Chris Wagner was a healthy scratch after he played in Washington.

*Defenseman Charlie McAvoy blocked a Nathan Beaulieu slap shot off his left skate late in the second period and left the game, but the second-year player returned and took his regular shift in the third. McAvoy then departed the game early because he earned matching roughing minor penalties with former Bruins forward Vladimir Sobotka at 19:21 of the third period.

*The Bruins won’t practice Friday and will return to the Warrior Ice Arena sheet Saturday.

Related: Bruins' Marchand bloodies Washington's Lars Eller