It doesn’t much matter what the reasons were behind Brad Marchand finally starting to resemble the guy he was during the regular season in Game 1 of the playoffs second round against the New York Rangers. It could certainly be that the Nose Face Killah matches up a little better with the Rangers players than he did against the Toronto Maple Leafs, or it could be the peace of mind after hitting the reset button after a difficult first round series. It could even be that Marchand is truly a little banged up after exiting morning skate early on Thursday amid some pretty clear spasms of pain during a 2-on-1 drill. Marchand tried to explain it as an aversion to morning skates, but perhaps the right winger got a visit from Dr. Feelgood prior to Game 1 against the Blueshirts. “I wasn’t worried at all. I’m serious. I just wanted to get off the ice. Claude [Julien] knows I hate morning skates,” said Marchand. “He used to yell at me when we won the [Stanley] Cup there because I wouldn’t even take a stride. I just wanted to get off early.” Whatever the reason, Marchand was playing without restrictions or inhibition in Game 1 against the Rangers and proved it by tucking home the overtime game-winning score in Boston’s 3-2 win over New York at TD Garden. The goal was a classic overtime transition score: Zdeno Chara poke-checked the puck away from the Rangers, and set off Patrice Bergeron and Marchand on an odd-man rush into New York’s end of the ice. Marchand beat Mats Zuccarello to the net, and Bergeron connected on a backdoor pass before the right winger tucked the puck between the impenetrable Henrik Lundqvist’s pads for the game-winner.
Marchand finally looks himself with Game 1 goal
NBC Sports Boston | May 17