Marchand’s hat trick leads convincing Bruins victory over lowly Canadiens

Brad Marchand skated around the ice, waiting for the cleanup crew to gather up the hats tossed over the glass to celebrate his fifth career hat trick.

He stopped to pick up a wide-brimmed purple number that will be signed by the team, dated and added to his collection.

“The hat speaks for itself,” Marchand said on Wednesday night after recording his fifth career hat trick in a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Boston. “It just has sexy written all over it.”

Marchand scored twice 15 seconds apart in the first period and added a short-handed goal in the second to lead the Bruins to their third straight win and their sixth in seven games. It was the third game in a row that they have opened a four-goal lead.

“I do believe this is closer to who we are,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.

WATCH | Marchand’s big night leads Bruins past Canadiens:

Bruins’ Marchand scores hat trick in victory over Canadiens

3 hours ago

Duration 1:16

Brad Marchand’s fifth career hat trick leads Boston to a 5-1 win over Montreal. 1:16

Curtis Lazar scored twice for Boston. Linus Ullmark stopped 24 shots as he tries to hold onto his spot in the goalie rotation with Tuukka Rask, the winningest goalie in franchise history, expected to make his season debut on Thursday night.

Michael Pezzetta scored midway through the second period for Montreal to make it 4-1 and spoil Ullmark’s shutout bid.

Jake Allen gave up two goals on seven shots in the first 17:11 before he was replaced by Sam Montembeault, who stopped 31 of 34 shots the rest of the way.

The teams were originally scheduled to meet in Montreal on Wednesday night and Boston on March 12. The Bruins home game was moved up, with the hope that capacity restrictions in Canada will be eased by March.

Oskar Steen set up the Bruins’ first goal at 14:43 of the first when he fought off Nick Suzuki for the puck and put it on net, where Marchand chipped it in. Marchand scored again 15 seconds later when he swiped a high rebound in as it fell to the ice — his stick barely beating Patrice Bergeron’s to the puck.

Lazar was credited with the goal that made it 3-0 when Jake DeBrusk’s shot bounced off his foot and into the net as he was being pushed around in the slot. It was still a three-goal lead seven minutes into the second when Marchand started the Bruins on a short-handed break and then finished it by crashing the net on the rebound for his fifth career hat trick.

It was his 33rd career short-handed goal, tying him for 14th all-time with Brian Rolston and Guy Carbonneau and a dozen more than the next highest active player.

Lazar was also later credited with the fifth and final goal for the Bruins, which was initially given to Urho Vaakanainen. It would have been Vaakanainen’s first NHL goal.

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