Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

The Bruins know how to make even a Saturday showdown with a rebuilding Canucks game feel important.

In Vancouver for the second game of a four-game tour of the Western Conference, Saturday was headlined by the B’s debut of trade additions Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov. Arriving in town and meeting their teammates late Friday night, both Hathaway and Orlov jumped into the mix for the Bruins — and at the expense of A.J. Greer up front and Connor Clifton on the backend — without a single practice with the team given the 4 p.m. Vancouver time start.

But this one was once again dictated by the Black and Gold’s star players, as the Bruins captured their sixth straight victory, and improved to a just straight-up stupid 45-8-5 on the season behind a 3-1 final over the Canucks.

Here are the 98.5 The Sports Hub (dot com) 3 Stars of the game from a win in Vancouver…

  • No. 3 Star: Brad Marchand

    VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 25: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck during the first period of their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

    VANCOUVER, CANADA – FEBRUARY 25: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver. (Derek Cain/Getty Images)

  • There’s just something about Brad Marchand and the Canucks.

    Back in the building the 5-foot-9 Marchand lifted the Stanley Cup in almost 12 years ago (and booed every single time he touched the puck because of that and more), Marchand once again busted out his trick stick and torched the Canucks for a beauty of a marker for the Black and Gold’s second goal of the evening.

  • The goal extended Marchand’s goal streak to two games, while Marchand’s point streak is now at five games, with three goals and six points over his last five appearances.

    Despite his previous claims that his game was not 100 percent back, the 34-year-old Marchand has performed at a point-per-game pace for almost the entire season, and is up to 19 goals and 52 points through 50 games since returning from his double-hip surgery recovery.

    And with 24 games left on the Bruins’ slate, Marchand has an outside chance at hitting the 80-point mark for the sixth time in his career. Kinda, sorta, definitely tempted to say he gets there.

  • No. 2 Star: Hampus Lindholm

    VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 25: Hampus Lindholm #27 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated at the player's bench after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

    VANCOUVER, CANADA – FEBRUARY 25: Hampus Lindholm #27 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated at the player’s bench after scoring a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Derek Cain/Getty Images)

  • The Bruins may have added another left-shot defenseman ahead of this year’s trade deadline, but one player whose ice-time will not be impacted by that is Hampus Lindholm.

    In the midst of what’s becoming a legitimately Norris-caliber season, Lindholm once again put on a three-zone show for the Bruins on Saturday night, and came through with the game-opening goal in this contest. What you had to love about the goal: The way Lindholm gets J.T. Miller to bite on both before dishing the puck to his left to David Krejci and then wastes no time blasting it once Krejci tossed it back and had Miller swimming. (Miller’s reaction absolutely said it all in regards to the blender Lindholm put him in on the way to the goal.)

  • In addition to the goal, Lindholm thrived on the analytics front, as he had the best corsi-for percentage on the team in win, as the Bruins out-attempted the Canucks 18-7 during Lindholm’s nearly 17 minutes of five-on-five time on ice. The Bruins also outshot the Canucks by a 15-3 edge over that sample with No. 27 out there.

    For Lindholm, the 2022-23 season now features a career-high in assists (32), points (39), and with Lindholm currently leading the league with a plus-39 rating. In case you’re curious, Lindholm is now six goals away from matching his single-season career-high of 13, which was set back in 2017-18.

  • No. 1 Star: Linus Ullmark

    VANCOUVER, CANADA - FEBRUARY 25: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated at the player's bench after scoring a goal into an empty net against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period of their NHL game at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

    VANCOUVER, CANADA – FEBRUARY 25: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins is congratulated at the player’s bench after scoring a goal into an empty net against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at Rogers Arena on February 25, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Derek Cain/Getty Images)

  • We’ve long run out of words to describe the season to date put forth by Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark.

    The Vezina favorite and potential Hart contender at this point, Ullmark once again wowed in the Boston crease, and finished this contest with a 26-of-27 line in a game that could’ve been much worse in the Black and Gold’s end had it not been for Ullmark. (NaturalStatTrick had Ullmark at an expected goals against average of 2.80 compared to the 1.00 Ullmark finished the night with for the Bruins.)

    And had it not been for a defensive-zone miscue and an odd bounce off the apron of the goal and to Brock Boeser, it’s entirely possible that we’re talking about another shutout for the B’s ace.

    Ullmark’s victory also gave the Swedish-born netminder his 30th win of the season, making it the first time in his NHL career that Ullmark has hit the 30-win mark. He’s also the second-fastest goalie to 30 wins in Bruins history after earning win No. 30 in his 37th appearance, trailing only Tiny Thompson, who won 30 games in 35 games played back in 1929-30.

    Oh, and did we mention that Ullmark scored a [expletive] goal in this game!?

  • What a toss.

    With the goal, Ullmark became the first Bruins goaltender to score a goal in the team’s almost century-long history, and is just the 13th goaltender in league history to accomplish the feat. Leaguewide, he’s the first goalie to light the lamp since the Predators’ Pekka Rinne did it against the Blackhawk in Jan. 2020.

    You just know Jeremy Swayman, who came close earlier this season, is going to try for it next.

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