Leading scorer Brad Marchand, determined ‘not to let the boys down’, returns with a win for the Boston Bruins

BOSTON — David Pastrnak scored a tie power-play goal early in the third period to give the rising Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the travel-weary Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

Boston’s top scorer Brad Marchand made a surprise return to the lineup on Saturday after being eliminated on Thursday with an apparent right shoulder injury, and assisted on the game-winning goal.

Marchand was hit from behind by Washington’s Garnet Hathaway, a check Boston coach Bruce Cassidy called a “cheap play.” Cassidy said Friday that Marchand would miss at least one game.

Less than a day later, before the game, Cassidy said Marchand was “feeling better,” adding that he should attend the pre-game warm-up. Just before the puck dropped, the winger received a huge ovation when he was announced on the starting lineup and everything was back to normal in Boston.

“I wasn’t expecting to play today,” he said after the win. “I have a lot of credit to give to our coaching team. I jumped on the ice and felt good. I don’t want to let the boys down.”

Marchand described the week as “a bit of a whirlwind” but with the way the Bruins are playing, that probably doesn’t matter to the star forward. His teammates Charlie Coyle and Oskar Steen also scored for Boston, which has been 10-2 since the New Year. Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for Boston in his third start after re-signing this month following off-season hip surgery.

Marchand also noted in his post-game availability that fans and media don’t always recognize when NHL players are playing through the many injuries that occur over the course of a regular season.

“It’s just something you do,” he said.

Andrew Copp and Jansen Harkins both had a goal for the Jets, who were playing their seventh of eight games en route to the 2022 opening due to COVID-19-related postponements. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 shots for the Jets.

In the third half, when Adam Lowry was substituted for interference, Pastrnak found a one-off Matt Grzelcyk pass from the left circle into the net for his 10th goal in the last 10 games.

The Jets had a 6-for-4 advantage going into the final 1:27 of the game when their goalie was pulled and Boston’s Tomas Nosek was knocked out for high-sticking.

In the first half, Harkins’ left-circle handballer hooked Rask’s glove into the net to make it 1-0 after 2:46. Steen collected a loose puck up front and equalized with about 8 minutes left in the first but Mark Scheifele’s cross- Ice-pass hit Copp’s skate and bounced off Bruins defender Urho Vaakanainen’s skate into the net with 26 seconds remaining.

Coyle tipped in Derek Forbort’s shot from the point and connected it at 2, just 2:31 a second.

There was some injury news for the Bruins but they appeared to have avoided further trouble. Grzelcyk left after being checked into the boards by Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois in the first half, but returned early in the second. Grzelcyk went onto the ice in pain as the game progressed and collapsed as he ran to the bench.

“There was no structural damage or it wouldn’t have gone out,” Cassidy said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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