BOSTON — Maybe Brad Marchand won’t be as surprised to find an “A” sewn on his jersey before the Boston Bruins’ next game.
Marchand delivered once again, this time as a surprise alternate captain, scoring with 22 seconds left in the third period to lift Boston over the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 on Thursday night.
“I think it’s just a product of everybody doing their job the right way and keeping it simple,” said Marchand, who has scored the winner in three straight during Boston’s five-game winning streak.
Marchand and David Pastrnak both swiped at the rebound off a shot by Zdeno Chara, and the puck slowly trickled behind goalie Alex Lyon. Marchand nudged it across the line for his 29th goal.
“I would have scored on that,” joked Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who had 31 saves. “He’s a battler. He never quits on a play so it’s good that he gets rewarded.”
Marchand was coming off a five-point night against Detroit on Tuesday, when he scored twice in regulation and then scored 34 seconds into overtime. He also scored Saturday in Boston’s 2-1 win at Montreal.
The Bruins improved to 5-0 since losing center Patrice Bergeron, the alternate captain who is out for a couple weeks with a broken right foot. Marchand said he was surprised to see before the game that the Bruins had given him the “A” for the evening, calling it an honor.
“I think we all have to carry the load a little bit. I think we’re all feeling that,” Marchand said.
Chara and Pastrnak had two assists each, and Riley Nash and Brian Gionta also scored for Boston, which won despite getting outshot 33-27 by the slumping Flyers.
Jakub Voracek and Jori Lehtera scored for Philadelphia, which is 0-4-1 in its last five and is clinging to third place in the Metropolitan Division. Coming off a 5-2 loss at home the night before against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said he was pleased with the Flyers’ 24-hour turnaround.
“Our guys worked their tails off from start to finish. It’s hard when you have nothing to show for it at the end,” Hakstol said. “We took a big step in the right direction. We got back to who we are tonight.”
Nash tapped in a rebound after Pastrnak’s wraparound attempt at 9:14 of the first to tie it at 1, then Gionta scored on a breakaway with 26 seconds left in the period to give Boston a 2-1 lead. It was the first goal as a Bruin for Gionta, who signed with Boston as a free agent serving as captain for the U.S. Olympic team.
“We stuck with it and obviously found a way late to get one. Those are the games you need to win coming down the stretch,” said Gionta, who has a goal and three assists in four games for the Bruins.
Lehtera tied it on a short-handed goal 7:21 into the second. The Flyers took an early lead on Voracek’s power-play goal 1:38 into the game, just nine seconds into a double-minor called on Kevan Miller for high sticking. Nolan Patrick set up Voracek’s one-timer from the right side with a backward pass through his legs.
NOTES: Bruins F David Backes sat out the first of a three-game suspension for a hit on Detroit’s Frans Nielsen on Tuesday night. … The Bruins shut out the Flyers 3-0 on Dec. 2 in the first of three meetings this season. … The Bruins have owned the Flyers over the last few years, going 10-1-2 in the previous 13 games entering Thursday. … Gionta and Simmonds needed to be separated after exchanging words at the end of the first period. … Claude Giroux’s assist on Philadelphia’s first goal moved him four points behind Eric Lindros (659) for fifth in Flyers’ scoring history.
UP NEXT: Flyers: Host Winnipeg on Saturday. Bruins: Host Chicago on Saturday, wrapping up a six-game homestand.