Bruins star Marchand returns, ‘felt OK’ after injury

NHL

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

Boston’s leading scorer, Brad Marchand, surprisingly returned to the lineup Saturday after leaving Thursday with an apparent right shoulder injury, and assisted on the game-winning goal.

Marchand had been hit from behind into boards by Washington’s Garnet Hathaway, a check that Boston coach Bruce Cassidy called a “cheap” play. Cassidy said Friday that Marchand would be out at least one game.

Less than a day later, before the game, Cassidy said Marchand “was feeling better,” adding that he was to take part in pregame warmups. Just before the puck dropped, the winger received a huge ovation when he was announced in the starting lineup, and all was back to normal in Boston.

“I didn’t expect to play today,” he said after the win. “I’ve got to give a ton of credit to our training staff. I jumped on the ice and felt OK. It’s going to take a lot to sit out. If you feel you can play, you battle through it. You don’t want to let the guys down.”

Marchand described the week as “a little 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 is 10-2 since New Year’s Day. Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for Boston in his third start after re-signing this month following offseason hip surgery.

Marchand also mentioned in his postgame availability that fans and media don’t always realize when NHL players are playing through the many injuries that surface through 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 played their seventh of eight games on the road to open 2022 because of COVID-19-related postponements. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 shots for the Jets.

In the third period, with Adam Lowry off for interference, Pastrnak one-timed Matt Grzelcyk‘s pass into the net from the left circle for his 10th goal in the last 10 games.

The Jets had a 6-on-4 advantage for the final 1:27 of the game with their goalie pulled and Boston’s Tomas Nosek off for high-sticking.

In the first period, Harkins’ wrister from the left circle ticked off Rask’s glove into the net, making it 1-0 at 2:46. Steen collected a loose puck in front and tied it with about 8 minutes left in the first, but Mark Scheifele‘s cross-ice pass hit off Copp’s skate and caromed into the net off the skate of Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen with 26 seconds left in the first.

Coyle tipped in Derek Forbort‘s shot from the point, tying it at 2 just 2:31 into the second.

There was some injury news for the Bruins, but they seemed to have avoid further issues. Grzelcyk left after getting checked into the boards by Winnipeg’s Pierre-Luc Dubois in the first period but returned at the beginning of the second. Grzelcyk went to the ice in pain as play continued and was slumped over when he skated to the bench.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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