Brad Marchand scored with 14.1 seconds remaining in the third period and then netted the overtime winner as the Boston Bruins edged the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 Saturday afternoon.
Zdeno Chara had the other Bruins goal while Tuukka Rask made 29 saves in the win.
The win gives the Bruins a five-point cushion on the Flyers in the race for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Philly has now lost six straight to Boston dating back to April 23, 2013.
Jakub Voracek and Chris VandeVelde had the Philly goals. Steve Mason stopped 34 shots in the loss.
With the Bruins trailing 2-1, Marchand re-directed a Dougie Hamilton shot past Mason for his 20th of the season.
Hamilton had a pair of assists in the win.
Then at 3:52 of overtime Marchand’s shot re-directed off of Michael Del Zotto and past Mason for the winner. With his assist on the goal, Maxime Talbot picked up his first point as a Bruin.
The pair of goals gives Marchand 21 on the season.
There’s been plenty of talk about Zdeno Chara’s future in Boston this year, given his injury issues and the fact he turns 38 this month.
While nobody’s ready to write B’s captain yet — a title he’s held for nine seasons — head coach Claude Julien acknowledged the club has a replacement candidate in mind.
“It’s probably undeniable that down the road when [Chara] is done with his career, if Bergeron is here it would be pretty hard to not make him the next captain,” Julien said, per CSNNE. “So I think he feels comfortable in dealing with issues that maybe he didn’t two or three years ago. I think that’s just a player being a little more of a veteran player every year, and that we’ve got some young players that need some leadership.
“So he’s kind of taken over a little bit.”
Wearing the “C” in Boston is a fairly big deal. Franchise icons like Terry O’Reilly, Rick Middleton and Ray Bourque all served as captains and, dating back to the earliest days of the franchise, legends like Dit Clapper, Milt Schmidt and Johnny Bucyk all held the title as well.
Bergeron does seem to be a nice fit to replace Chara when the veteran blueliner calls it a day. The 29-year-old has spent his entire 10-year career in Boston, winning a Stanley Cup (in 2011) and two Selke Trophies as the league’s top defensive forward. Bergeron has also served as an alternate captain since the 2006-07 season and has represented Canada at each of the last two Winter Olympics, helping the country capture gold both times.
The Florida Panthers put pressure on Boston with their 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres this afternoon. Boston responded with a 4-1 win over Arizona to maintain its four-point edge in the battle for a Wild Card spot.
Milan Lucic put the Bruins ahead early with his 13th goal of the season. Brad Marchand added to that lead with what proved to be the game-winner at 14:13 of the first period.
Captain Zdeno Chara snapped his four-game point drought by scoring a goal and an assist Saturday. Reilly Smith got two helpers to give him 35 points in 62 contests.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped 31 of 32 shots and came within half a period of earning his third shutout of the season.
Arizona has now lost nine straight games — all in regulation — as it hovers just above the Edmonton Oilers and the second lowest spot in the NHL standings. As previously noted, the difference between the 28th and 29th places are big when it comes to the possibility of getting Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.