Oh, were they ever.
The Penguins built a 3-0 lead in the second period with goals from Bryan Rust, Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino.
And, well, it was a failed test. It's the first time in three seasons in the playoffs for the Bruins. But since potting 11 goals during the 2011 Cup winning campaign as a rookie, Marchand has just five in his last 41 playoff games - and none in his last 20. We weren't going after them in the neutral zone, either. "They made us pay". So they could be cannon fodder for either Washington or Ottawa? And despite a two-game ban for his spear in the 80th game of the regular season, Marchand showed no signs of rust and did not miss. In the Boston goal, meanwhile, Tuukka Rask hasn't been his old self.
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ABOUT THE BRUINS (44-31-7): Brad Marchand, who has a team-high 39 goals and scored 22 times in 41 games on the road, will return to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay's Jake Dotchin, but Boston has some major health worries.
The New York Rangers spent the last month or so of the season, how shall we say, attempting to massage their record so they could jump to the Atlantic instead of staying in the Metro. Dion Phaneuf still brings thump as a second pairing D-man; Viktor Stalberg and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are sneaky-good third liners; and of course Anderson has been a nemesis for the B's since the current campaign began. If they played the majority of games in Boston, Cleveland, Mars or Jupiter, the Cavaliers would have no problem with the Celtics.
The St. Louis Blues shocked the heavily favored Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 overtime win on a goal by Joel Edmundson, and the San Jose Sharks trailed the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 before roaring back to tie the game and win it also in OT on a goal by Melker Karlsson. When Dean Brown asked if he was planning to scratch any veterans, Boucher responded by saying, "Most of our players are veterans".
McAvoy also came away smiling from his pressure-packed debut, actually playing seven seconds more than Karlsson.
Bruins' Brad Marchand suspended 2 games for spearing
Lightning trainer Tom Mulligan tended to Dotchin, who remained on the ice for several minutes before skating off on his own. What makes it so frustrating is that we all wanted to believe that Marchand had fully grown up this season.
It was a hard lesson to learn, but head coach Guy Boucher hopes it will be a lasting one for the Ottawa Senators. They got here under first-year coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced the fired Claude Julien on February 7. Also turning in an exceptional effort was 19-year old Charlie McAvoy, who was second on the Bruins in ice time with 24:11 in his National Hockey League debut. He had composure, saw the ice, defended well, got his kind of indoctrination over early when he tried to dump one in, hit our guy and it came back.
"I've used the word resiliency a lot and I think it's become a bit of our middle name", said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
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First, it was Frank Vatrano who notched the tying goal and then Brad Marchand, the Boston superpest, supplying the victor with just under three minutes to play.
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The Senators were skating rings around the plodding Bruins and even outshot them 12-0 in the second period, when Rask saved his team's bacon time after time. The Toronto Maple Leafs did Boston what appears to be a huge favour by losing their regular-season finale vs. Columbus 3-2 at home. Anderson has proven to be such a solid wall of defense in the past, that the Bruins best shot at scoring against him is a numbers game and to create a blistering pace of traffic in front of his net.