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Marchand's power play goal gives Bruins sixth straight win
Boston Bruins center Rich Peverley (49) celebrates the winning goal by left wing Brad Marchand (not pictured) during the third period of Saturday's game. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
But know this: the feisty winger is on fire through the first 17 games.
"That's how it goes sometimes," Marchand said Saturday after scoring his 11th goal, and fourth game-winner, with 2:16 left to give the surging Boston Bruins their sixth straight victory, a 3-2 decision that sent Tampa Bay to its fourth straight loss.
"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't. I'm not doing anything different this year."
Marchand converted a 2-on-1 pass from linemate Patrice Bergeron for a power play goal to complete Boston's comeback from a 2-0 deficit.
Marchand, who missed one game because of injury, leads the Bruins in overall and game winning goals, and Boston is 14-2-2 and off to the franchise's best start since 1929-30.
"I've said it before, in this league, goals come and go in bunches," Marchand said. "You can go 20, 30 games without a goal and then you can go 20 games with 15."
Marchand, who scored 28 goals in 76 games last year, hasn't gone two games in a row without one this season.
He went out of his way to laud the work of his linemates, Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. And, asked after the game about a difference in his left wing, coach Claude Julien said: "He's got some good linemates and at the same time he's got a quick release. He's got a good shot and he utilizes it.
"He's, I guess, Johnny on the spot ... because when we need a big goal he's been able to find it. That's his fourth game-winning goal. ... He's a clutch player and the kind of player you like to have on your team."
Tampa Bay's Brendan Mikkelson received a double minor for high-sticking Milan Lucic with 5:39 left, and the Bruins didn't put any pressure on Mathieu Garon until Marchand scored.
Steven Stamkos, whose 15th goal of the season led the Lightning (9-11-1) to an early 2-0 lead, came down the right side and blasted one that went wide and came all the way around the boards.
Bergeron led Marchand, who had trailed the play as he argued for a Tampa Bay penalty, on the winning rush.
"We gambled and wasted 58 minutes of hard, intelligent, paying-the-price work," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "Against the top team in the conference. We wasted it with a gamble at the end."
Said Stamkos, "It was kind of a 3-on-2, but we didn't really drive. I knew I wasn't going to make the play going backwards, so I tried to score a goal. Shoot the puck. It goes around the boards and they get a 2-on-1."
Marchand said later Bergeron made things easy for him.
It was the Bruins' second power-play goal of the game, their first two of the season on home ice. They have only nine power play goals this season, three by Marchand.
Backup goalie Anton Khudobin, playing after a five-game seat on the bench, yielded two goals on the first four shots but that was all, as he improved to 3-1-1.
Seguin (No. 4, first in five games) and Rich Peverley (No. 3, first in six) scored 1:17 apart in the second period, after Stamkos and Alexander Killorn scored power-play goals 3:06 apart for Tampa in the first.
Julien said the deficit didn't scare him because he didn't think his team was playing poorly. He also knows his team has the poise to come from behind.
Despite allowing the two power-play goals, the Bruins did kill six penalties, including a double minor to Andrew Ference in the second period.
The Bruins allowed their first power-play goal at home in the third period Thursday night, but were hit with two in a 3:06 span of the first period Saturday.
On the first, Stamkos extended his points-scoring streak to nine games. Killorn then scored his third nifty pass work by Teddy Purcell (two assists) and Martin St. Louis (21 assists this season).
Boston struck quickly in the second period - both goals one-timers scored from the same sharp angle Stamkos scored from in the first.
Seguin scored his first goal in five games, at 3:22, and Peverley then took a pass from Adam McQuaid and scored from the same spot, at 4:39.
NOTES: Pierre-Cedric Labrie of Tampa Bay and Adam McQuaid of Boston engaged in a spirited first-period fight, while Gregory Campbell of the Bruins and B.J. Crombeen went at it in the second. The fights were the first in eight games for Boston, all after Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch. ... Veteran Jay Pandolfo replaced Thornton and played the fourth line, while coach Claude Julien shifted Daniel Paille up to the third unit and dropped Chris Bourque to the fourth. ... Former Bruin Benoit Pouliot left the game because of an upper-body injury after a first-period boarding penalty against Dennis Seidenberg.