Brad Marchand calls game misconduct 'undisciplined'

The Bruins played the last two periods without leading scorer Brad Marchand after he speared Tampa Bay's Jake Dotchin in front of the Lightning net. David Pastrnak pushed the lead to 2-0 on the power play, taking a attractive cross ice feed from Riley Nash who threaded the puck through the legs of a Tampa defender to find Pastrnak camped out off the left post for a one-timer. With four games remaining in Tampa Bay's season, it's impossible for the Lightning to match the Bruins' ROW total, so ensuring that Boston doesn't take any points at all gives Tampa Bay all the more chance of surpassing the Bruins for the final wild-card spot.

According to STATS Inc., Bergeron became the first National Hockey League player ideal with at least 17 draws in a game since Curtis Brown of the Buffalo Sabres with 19 of 19 against the Atlanta Thrashers on October 4, 2001. Boston had a game plan for shutting Tampa Bay down by smothering the Lightning in their own zone and clogging the neutral zone, and they executed it to perfection.

Boston fans wary of another collapse in the final weeks celebrated by cheering throughout the final two minutes.

The reality of the situation is that Marchand has become far too good a player and is too meaningful to his Bruins team to put himself, and more importantly his teammates, in a position like he did on Tuesday.

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Still, this is a win the Bruins should savor, and I'll eat some humble pie here after railing against this team when it appeared the four game losing skid would be just a repeat of the kind of late season collapses that marred the last two seasons. I think coming back after the breaks we weren't as sharp as we needed to be. However, he's one of the most popular players and ranks among the scoring leaders with 39 goals, so that could end up working in his favor.

Andrei Vasilevskiy kept Tampa Bay close with 34 saves.

Marchand was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct, tossing him for the game. "You don't have to score on it, but you've got to turn the tide of the game and we didn't". Marchand has been suspended four times and fined four times in his eight-year career.

NOTES: Boston C Patrice Bergeron went 17-0 on faceoffs.

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It has been 25 games since the Bruins fired Claude Julien, the winningest coach in franchise history, and they've gone 18-7-0 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.

Speaking to a league source, it's nearly a guarantee that Marchand is in fact suspended for this incident, but it's unknown whether or not it could bleed over into the postseason, which would be a simply devastating blow to the team. Lightning C Steven Stamkos (right knee surgery) missed his 62nd straight game, but said he could still return this week if the club needs him and he's ready.

But the moment an "x" is affixed to Toronto in the standings, whether Thursday or in one of the weekend games against Pittsburgh or Columbus, will not be enough to satiate these Leafs.

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