Marchy's 1st hat trick keys 2nd-line surge

December, 23, 2011
12/23/11
11:53
PM ET
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand said he never thought he'd get a hat trick with the big club, then moments later paused for a second as he tried to recall when he last recorded one.

Finally, he surmised, "Uh, yeah, I don't even think I got one in junior. I think maybe back to midget ... no, wait, I actually got one in junior."

It's the second time this season one of the Bruins' second-liners recorded the trifecta, with linemate Tyler Seguin getting the first of his career last month in a domination of the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Certainly, Friday's feat for Marchand was well-earned by all parties involved.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer In honor of Brad Marchand's first career hat trick, Bruins fans showered the TD Garden ice with a fair number of Santa caps.
Patrice Bergeron, with his all-around even game and steadiness on the rush, set up the game's first two goals from the slot. On the first score, Bergeron came across the face of his defender in the circle and dumped the puck behind the opposite post. From there, Marchand wrapped around the near side of the net and beat Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore short-side for a short-handed goal.

Then at 13:40 of the period, Bergeron fired a low shot from the high slot that went wide to Theodore's right, where Lucic was at the post to tip the puck behind the goalie's pads and put the game on the verge of blowing open. The Bruins then scored two more goals in the final two minutes of the period to lead 4-0 at the first intermission and send Theodore to the pine, replaced by Scott Clemmensen.

"I think we were moving our feet well, and being hard on the forecheck, and causing some turnovers," Bergeron said. "We talked about that last game, in the third period, I thought that's what gave us success, so we had to keep that going tonight."

Seguin was credited with points on the final two goals of the night, to complete Marchand's trifecta. Seguin gathered the puck in the high slot after it was won off the boards, and slid it over to Zdeno Chara in the left circle. From there, the Bruins captain pushed it over to the weak post, where Marchand had the open net and beat Clemmensen short-side after it deflected off the skate of Keaton Ellerby, for a 7-0 lead.

Just before the second line took the ice with 10 minutes left in the contest, Seguin told Marchand to "be ready," saying "If I get any pucks in the slot, I'm giving it to you," in Marchand's words. Coming up the ice on a 3-on-2, Marchand carried the puck through the neutral zone, fed Seguin in the slot and veered to the left circle.

Seguin quickly fired it back across the slot, and Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver lost his balance trying to catch up to Marchand, who wristed one past Clemmensen short-side for the final score of the night.

Marchand now leads the team with 15 goals, and with this kind of start, he's on pace to surpass 30. Greeting the media in one of his increasingly popular "Nose Face Killah" T-shirts -- "They're for sale out on the street," he said with a laugh -- Marchand was humble about his success since becoming a folk hero in last spring's Stanley Cup championship run.

"Yeah, I think I've just been fortunate enough to play with great players and I just kind of feed off them and get some lucky goals," Marchand said. "I never expected to be in that position and I don't expect to be there long, but it's a lot of fun being on this team and being in the winning ways right now, so hopefully it keeps going."

Across the locker room, Bergeron was asked if Marchand has become one of the team's best finishers.

"He's good at finding the puck around the net, and also finding ways to put the puck in," Bergeron said. "He's pretty resilient, too, just to find ways to score. Right now he's playing really well, and you can't ask more than four goals in two games, can you? So it's great for him to see that, and hopefully he can stay like that."

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