After avoiding suspension, Marchand lifts Bruins past Pens
BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand got fined, but avoided a suspension — and led the Boston Bruins to a victory.
Marchand scored two second-period goals in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, hours after he was docked $10,000 by the NHL but not ordered to sit out any games for what the league termed was “a dangerous trip” of Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall on Jan. 24.
“He skated like he was $10,000 lighter,” teammate David Backes said with a laugh. “He was flying around and doing what he does best playing the game and playing hard.”
Because of his multiple past on-ice transgressions, Marchand knew his fate could have been worse.
“They let me off with one probably,” Marchand said. “Felt fortunate to be playing tonight and it was great to be part of a big win.”
Riley Nash and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who won consecutive games for only the third time in their last 36 games.
Justin Schultz and Phil Kessel gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead after the first period. Patric Hornqvist scored midway through the third period to cut Pittsburgh’s deficit to 4-3, but the Penguins couldn’t get the equalizer.
Boston stormed back to take a 3-2 lead after two with three unanswered goals while outshooting the Penguins 16-4.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan appeared irritated when he was asked whether he was surprised Marchand was allowed to play.
“The league is going to do what they do and we do what we do,” Sullivan said. “We need to worry more about being in the right mindset and being ready to play.”
Marchand scored his third short-handed goal of the season at 1:38, and then tied it at 2 when he slammed home the rebound of David Pastrnak’s shot at 6:27.
“Letting up the short-handed goal was a big turning point,” Penguins goalie Matt Murray said. “They came out flying after that.”
Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Boston, who avoided being swept in the season series and is unbeaten in its last six home games against the Penguins.
Murray made 33 saves for the Penguins, who have dropped two straight and is 5-5 in January.
Pastrnak had two assists for Boston.
NOTES: Marchand now has 22 short-handed goals for his career, three short of the franchise record set by Rick Middleton. … Crosby’s first-period assist extended his streak to 63 games of not going back-to-back games without scoring a point. … Evgeni Malkin missed the game with a lower body injury and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. … Rask has made nine consecutive starts for Boston. … Schultz has a career-high 35 points. … Carlo left with a lower-body injury in the third period.