April 1st, 2021; Boston; Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand (63) celebrates after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins during a NHL game at the TD Garden. Credit: Brian Fluharty

Marchand’s OT Blast Evens Series with Caps

Brad Marchand‘s one-timer of a Matt Grzelcyk pass thirty-nine seconds into overtime evened up the Boston Bruins series with the Washington Capitals at one game apiece. Boston’s 4-3 win in front of 5,333 at Capital One Arena puts the advantage in the Bruins favor, for now, as the series shifts back to TD Garden and Boston on Wednesday. David Krejci kept the puck in the Capitals zone and dished across the blue line to Grzelcyk before the defenseman found a wide-open Marchand at the right face-off dot for the game-winner.

“The guys that have been here understood the urgency of this game,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. “We had to play better. We did.”

The Capitals set the tone early with the physical play but Boston took the jabs and landed the first punch when Jake DeBrusk banged in a Charlie Coyle wrap-around feed at 5:05 of the first period. The goal was DeBrusk’s second of the playoffs.

The Bruins lead lasted all of 1:26 as Washington capitalized on a David Pastrnak Holding penalty on Washington forward Michael Raffl. T.J. Oshie tied things at 1-1 when he tipped in an Alexander Ovechkin blast from the top of the left circle past Tuukka Rask (36 saves) at 6:31.

Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins the lead again when he beat Craig Anderson (44 saves) with a shot from the slot. Pastrnak kept the puck in the Caps zone by jumping up to glove a high clearing attempt, then dished to Bergeron in the slot for the go-ahead goal at 9:21.

Once again Washington had the equalizer. This time Garnet Hathaway redirected a Dmitry Orlov shot from the blue line through the legs of Rask at 16:42. Lars Eller also assisted on Hathaway’s first of the playoffs.

The second period continued on in the physical vein as each team let the emotions get the better of them. Three sets of matching penalties were the story of the middle frame. Connor Clifton and Tom Wilson at 13:31, Tripping and Embellishment respectively. Then Slashing on Marchand and High-Sticking on Washington’s Anthony Mantha. Roughing calls on Craig Smith and Nick Jenson rounded out the period at 16:54.

Washington gained their first lead of the night at 7:04 of the third when Hathaway notched his second of the night on a two on one with Orlov. Orlov flipped a quick pass past a diving Grzelcyk to Hathaway at the right circle for the glove-side high wrister past Rask.

Taylor Hall evened it up at 17:11 when he banged in a loose puck in front of Anderson during a scrum. Hall carried into the Capitals zone and dished to Smith in front but Anderson made the initial stop. The veteran goalie couldn’t secure the rebound as Charlie McAvoy and Conor Sheary tumbled into Anderson, that’s when Hall struck at the side of the goal. Smith and Grzelcyk assisted on Hall’s first of the postseason.

“I thought we were the better team,” said Cassidy. “Full value for the win. Everyone came to play.”

“It’s a good feeling to go back to Boston 1-1,” said Marchand. “We went through it last game and it’s tough to lose in overtime. It hurts. But you battle back like we did tonight and we just seemed to have it a little more tonight than we did in (Game 1 on Saturday).”