It took him less than a minute to catch up.
Marchand scored 39 seconds into overtime and the Boston Bruins rallied to beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Monday night, tying the Eastern Division first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
After a relentless victory in which Marchand played a big part, the Bruins will almost certainly take the good and the bad from their top scorer who likes to get under the skin of his opponents.
“There is a lot more good than bad, and I think he wanted to train us in the fight – and we needed it,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “I think he’s matured enough now that he doesn’t retire from the game. Maybe it would have been a game in the past, he would have let it happen and he wouldn’t have been an effective player, but he found his game and certainly a big chunk of the win with the overtime winner. “
Marchand will be remembered much more for defeating Craig Anderson to return the series to Boston to tie, much more than him for hitting Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon below the belt at the end of a first period scrum or hitting. Anthony Mantha when they entered. in the second. But these will not be forgotten and could have derailed it.
“It’s just about being able to kind of get back into the game,” said Marchand, who placed third in the NHL with 69 points in the regular season. “We’re obviously on the bigger stage right now and we have to stay out of the box in these games, so I have to do my job a little better there. “
The Bruins are at their best when Marchand steps into this line and produces as well. It was therefore Captain Patrice Bergeron’s job to catch him, bring him back and refocus Marchand on the task at hand. It worked, and Boston doesn’t want a Marchand any other way.
“That’s who he is,” said Bergeron, who scored in the first with Jake DeBrusk. “He’s in competition all the time. His will and his desire to make a difference are there every time. “
This series helped the NHL playoffs get off to a flying start with five straight one-goal games, four of them in overtime. The Capitals and Bruins are certainly no strangers to it. They have now played nine straight games with one playoff goal, which matches their 2012 streak.
Game three is Wednesday night in Boston.
“I think we’ll be there with an answer,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “Our guys have always responded in the game and throughout the season, so we’ll be ready to play. “
The Bruins were within three minutes of the show’s pure desperation mode.
Two penalties early in the third period took Boston off the beat as Garnet Hathaway scored his second of the game to give Washington the lead with 12:56 left. Anderson – who made 38 straight saves after allowing two goals on the Bruins’ first five shots – was a rock until Taylor Hall hit him with a loose puck with 2:49 left in regulation.
“It was a greasy goal, of course,” said Hall, who joined the Bruins on the trade deadline. “It wasn’t a perfect match for me. I have yet another level to reach personally, but as a team we came together and won a game and that’s all you can ask for. “
Boston got 36 saves from Tuukka Rask, who was twice beaten by deflections. Hathaway scored twice and TJ Oshie redirected a shot for Washington, who played without goalkeepers Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov and center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and lost center Lars Eller due to a bottom injury. body in the middle of the second game.
“(Rask) certainly played well, gave us a chance to win,” said Cassidy. “The game was always close. You don’t want it to escape you. I thought both goalies were good. I thought their guy was great too, but we were better. “
While Vanecek is seen on a day-to-day basis with a lower body injury, Kuznetsov and Samsonov have remained out after completing the league’s COVID protocol on Sunday. Each has missed the last five games of the regular season, and there is no definitive timeline as to when they will be available to play.
The Bruins played without defenseman Jeremy Lauzon, who was replaced on the blue line by Connor Clifton, a shot from the right going offside.
Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara plays as a visitor in the playoffs at TD Garden in Boston for the first time after 73 games as captain of the Bruins. The puck delivery for the third game is at 6.30 p.m. Wednesday evening.