VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Brad Marchand relishes being the villain, especially in the city where he hoisted the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins forward scored a hat trick in the third period, including the winning goal with under eight minutes left, and Boston beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Monday night.
After tying the game on the power play 58 seconds into the third, Marchand stole the puck from Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin along the boards, stepped past Daniel Sedin and then deked through the legs of Alexander Edler before beating Canucks goalie Ryan Miller.
Loathed by Vancouver fans since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final that the Bruins won in Game 7 at Rogers Arena, Marchand was booed every time he touched the puck — jeers that only added to his motivation.
“That’s kind of when I get into it more and not a good idea for them,” said Marchand, who added an assist for a four-point night. “Lots of great memories in this building, so it is fun just to come in here and reminisce.
“When you have a night like that it just adds to those memories.”
Coming off a 37-goal campaign in 2015-16, Marchand now has 35 this season, tied with Sidney Crosby for tops in the NHL. Marchand is also tied with Crosby for second in the overall points race with 74, one back of Connor McDavid.
“This is a leader of our hockey team that knows the urgency of where we are in the season,” Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s pulled some guys along.”
David Backes, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci had the other goals for Boston, which got 26 saves from Tuukka Rask. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each added two assists.
The Bruins, who are 11-3-0 since Cassidy took over for the fired Claude Julien on Feb. 7, sit four points up on Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division.
“We’re obviously in a tight playoff race and we need every single point,” Marchand said. “It was great that the team rallied and had a big third.”
Markus Granlund had two goals and Edler also scored for Vancouver. Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin each picked up two assists. Ryan Miller made 37 saves in his 700th NHL game.
“We didn’t battle and weren’t good enough defensively,” Granlund said. “That’s how you lose.”
The fading Canucks are 12 points back of St. Louis for the second wild card in the Western Conference.
“It was my mistake on the fourth (goal), which cost us the game,” Henrik Sedin said. “They played well the whole game. I don’t think we played well enough.
“We were lucky to be in it after the first,” he added. “It was a tight game, but still we didn’t play our best. We played too slow.”
Vancouver led 3-2 after 40 minutes, but Boston came out flying after the second intermission and tied it early in the third on a power play when Pastrnak threw the puck in front to Marchand, who fired his 33rd goal past a down-and-out Miller.
Granlund, who scored his goals in the first, had a good chance at a hat trick later in the period, but Rask made a pad stop to keep it tied before Marchand struck again with his solo effort with 7:57 left.
“He is determined and wants to get better with every area of his game,” Cassidy said. “He’s worked hard on his game. He deserves to be rewarded.”
Krejci put it out of reach with his 19th goal on a slick pass from Pastrnak at 16:46 before Marchand completed the hat trick with 25.5 seconds left into an empty net.
“It’s disappointing … really disappointing,” Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. “We took a penalty at the end of the second and that hurt us going into the third. But saying that, we were still in a good enough position. We just didn’t finish that game.”
NOTES: The Canucks signed 20-year-old defenseman Jalen Chatfield of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires to an entry-level contract. … Ten players who took part in the 2011 series remain on the teams’ respective rosters — four from Vancouver and six from Boston. … After missing the Pittsburgh game with food poisoning, Granlund returned to the lineup alongside the Sedins. … Christopher Tanev, who like Granlund missed Saturday’s game with food poisoning, also sat out Monday.
Bruins: At the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Canucks: End a five-game homestand by hosting the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
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