Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

How Brad Marchand made sure Bruins avoided a letdown in Ottawa

Matt Kalman
December 09, 2018 - 10:26 pm

When the Bruins need a jolt they turn to the player who most resembles a tiny bottle of 5-Hour Energy.

Coming of an exhausting 6-3 home win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Bruins had to fly up to Ottawa for a 5 p.m. start and it was evident they didn’t have their legs at the outset against the sub-.500 Senators on Sunday.

Well most of the Bruins didn’t have their legs, except for that tireless No. 63.

Brad Marchand carried the Bruins, especially during a sluggish first period by most of the rest of his teammates, and made sure they didn’t fall into a trap game in Canada’s capital by scoring a game-tying goal during a second-period power play and firing a season-high nine shots on net.

The Bruins went on to win 2-1 in overtime on Torey Krug’s goal after a sick pass across the slot by David Krejci.

Marchand came out flying and had three shots on net in the first period, in addition to a couple mishandles of the puck and some shot opportunities he passed up. His linemates Krejci and David Pastrnak did their best to keep up.

Maybe Marchand was a little frustrated because late in the period he took an ill-advised elbowing penalty that gave Ottawa a 5-on-3. But the Bruins killed it off and Marchand picked up in the second period where left off in the first. He landed three more shots in the second, two in the third and one in overtime.

His nine shots on net tied for his second-most in a game in his NHL career, and it was his first nine-shot game since Dec. 14, 2015.

After the first period Boston’s other lines picked up their pace, and everyone was clicking during the third period (the Bruins outshot Ottawa 14-4). But Senators journeyman backup goalie Mike McKenna played out of his mind and got the Senators a point they might regret earning later in the year when they’re trying to get the best position in the lottery.

Games like Sunday’s are why Marchand occasionally wears an alternate captain’s ‘A.’ Against the Maple Leafs he had three assists, but he had just one shot on net and was surprisingly quiet in terms of non-hockey shenanigans considering the game had 98 penalty minutes and three fights.

So he knew he had more to give, and he knew the Bruins might be struggling with a team-wide emotional letdown going from the drama of a Maple Leafs tilt to the quiet confines of Ottawa. He showed true leadership by putting the Bruins on his shoulders and making sure they were able to build off their big Saturday night win and enjoy a four-point weekend against Atlantic Division foes.

McAvoy makes it

There were some questions about Charlie McAvoy’s availability for Sunday after he took that mammoth late hit from Toronto’s Zach Hyman on Saturday. But the defenseman played 21:16.

Meanwhile, it’ll be Hyman who won’t be playing because the NHL handed him a two-game suspension for the hit.

Knuckles Kuraly

Six-foot-2 Sean Kuraly didn’t shy away from a fight with 6-6 Ottawa defenseman Ben Harpur in the second period and it paid off. Kuraly got a busted lip but also drew an instigator penalty and that’s the power play Marchand converted for the tying goal.

Related: Kalman: How Heinen reciprocated the Bruins’ gift