Marchand, Bruins stop Hurricanes 3-2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Brad Marchand has been in a bit of a scoring slump in the first month of the season. That all changed with a visit to one of his favorite opponents.
Marchand scored the tying goal with 18 seconds left in the second period and the eventual game-winner just over five minutes into the third period as Boston improved to 11-0-5 in its last 16 meetings with Carolina. The Hurricanes haven’t beaten the Bruins in regulation since April 2013.
Marchand has led that charge recently, with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his last six games against the Hurricanes.
“It’s been a little tough, I don’t think I’d really been pulling my weight,” said Marchand, who had two goals in 11 games before matching that total Tuesday. “It was nice to get a couple tonight. It all starts with big plays from other guys. I was just the beneficiary.”
Micheal Ferland and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost five of seven after a 4-0-1 start. Sebastian Aho recorded an assist for the 12th straight game, tying the NHL record held by Wayne Gretzky and Ken Linseman for most consecutive games with an assist to open a season.
Scott Darling stopped 28 shots in his first start of the season after returning from an ankle injury.
“We gotta learn that you can’t take a breath out on the ice,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “That’s what happened and, to me, that cost us the game.”
In an all-too-familiar script, the Hurricanes had the upper hand early before fading late. Ferlund stuffed home a rebound for a power-play goal to open the scoring in the first period. After Pastrnak’s bad angle slap shot along the goal line oddly curled around Darling’s body and tied the score in the second, the Hurricanes appeared poised to take a lead into the final period when Hamilton’s slap shot from the point sailed over Halak’s right shoulder with 1:27 to go in the second.
But Marchand and Bergeron spoiled those plans. In a tremendous individual effort, Bergeron caught Warren Foegele from behind on a breakaway and fired a pass the length of the ice to Marchand, who took advantage of a Hurricanes line change and stood alone on the Carolina blue line.
Marchand received Bergeron’s pass, moved into the faceoff circle, and fired a wrist shot past Darling’s outstretched right pad, tying the score with 18 seconds left in the period and stealing the momentum.
“It starts with Bergie on the wall winning a battle,” Marchand said. “I just knew I had a forward beside me and I figured if I could get by him I’d have a good opportunity.”
Marchand turned that momentum into a lead in the third. Just over five minutes in, the Bruins’ speedster raced down the left side of the ice along the wall, deked Darling on the left post and flew around the net, scoring on a wraparound that gave the Bruins their first lead, and the only one they would need.
“That’s kind of how (Marchand) is, he makes something happen out of nothing,” Bergeron said. “So you just try to send him and after that he just kind of finds a way.”
The stunned Hurricanes never recovered, managing only eight shots in the final period after recording 36 in the first two.
NOTES: Halak improved to 4-0-2 as he battles Tuukka Rask for the Bruins starting goaltender job. . Aho broke Ron Francis’ franchise record for longest season-opening point streak with his first-period assist. … Boston F David Backes (upper-body injury) and D Matt Grzelcyk (lower body injury) were scratched. Backes missed his fifth straight game and Grzelcyk his first. C Colby Cave was also scratched for the Bruins. … Carolina scratched G Curtis McElhinney and F Phil Di Guiseppe.
Bruins: Wrap up a two-game road swing at Nashville at Saturday.
Hurricanes: Visit Arizona on Friday to open a four-game road trip.