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Jan 12, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates through a sea of hats after scoring his third goal of the game during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In action for the first time since New Year’s Day, the Canadiens were given what was quite possibly their worst welcome back gift imaginable from the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, as the winger torched the Black and Gold’s century-long rival for three goals on the way to a 5-1 win at TD Garden.

For Marchand, sporting a broken nose and a black eye as a result of a brutal-looking high stick he took in Monday’s win over the Capitals, the fun started with an absurd sequence that included two goals in 15 seconds, the second of which came with a baseball-style swing through Montreal’s Jake Allen.

Spotted a two-goal edge early, the Bruins pushed their lead to three when a grind-it-down shift from Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins possession in the attacking zone, and allowed the Bruins to make a line change that paved the way for a DeBrusk shot to bounce off Curtis Lazar and into the Montreal net for a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.

In true rivalry game fashion, too, Marchand and the Bruins weren’t done.

The 5-foot-9 star even decided to mix it up a bit, this time torching the Canadiens for a shorthanded goal for his fifth career hat trick, and first since an Apr. 3 hat trick performance against the Penguins last season.

From the temperature of the game only went up, with countless scrums and nastiness throughout the remainder of the evening, including a major blow-up in the Boston corner when Chris Wideman headbutted Boston center Erik Haula in a post-whistle scrum. The Bruins were also upset with what they felt was a dirty second-period hit that knocked John Moore out of the game for the remainder of the evening with an upper-body injury.

Boston ended their night on a high note, too, with a Urho Vaakanainen marker scored late in the third period and good for the first goal of the 2017 first-round pick’s NHL career.

(Quick note: The NHL later changed Vaakanainen’s goal to Lazar. But we are going to simply ignore that.)

In net, Linus Ullmark stopped 24-of-25 shots faced for his 12th win of the season. The 28-year-old Ullmark has now captured wins in nine of his last 11 starts, and has a .927 save percentage over that stretch.

With the win, the Bruins have now won four straight home games against the Canadiens. It’s their longest home winning streak against the Canadiens since a five-game streak from Mar. 2001 through Nov. 2002.

The Bruins will be right back at it Thursday night at home against the Flyers.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.