BOSTON – Brad Marchand tried to poke the puck through the defender’s legs and then, to his surprise, found that he still had the puck.
The Bruins forward took a couple of more strides and wristed it into the net, giving the Bruins a 3-2 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators.
“He was shocked that it worked,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Marchand’s goal 54 seconds into overtime. “Give him credit for that and he was smart enough to throw it at the net. Maybe I was a little surprised, too.”
Jarome Iginla and Johnny Boychuk also scored in regulation for Boston, and Marchand faked out Predators forward Mike Fisher at the point to score the game-winner. That gave goalie Niklas Svedberg a victory in his NHL debut.
“Fish knows better than that,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “He can’t play as light on guys one-on-one as that.”
Svedberg stopped 33 shots for Boston, which avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season. Julien said the 24-year-old rookie would go back to the team’s AHL affiliate in Providence, R.I., but “he’s a guy we need to keep an eye on.”
“Ever since I started playing, this is where I wanted to be. So I’m real happy with this win,” Svedberg said. “It’s just one game but it’s real fun to get the win in my first game.”
Svedberg had been scheduled to play last weekend, but he was sent back to Providence so the Bruins could call up a defenceman after Zdeno Chara needed a night off. Svedberg’s mother flew in from Sweden for that game, but his parents couldn’t get a flight to Boston this time.
“It was a little bit too short of a timeline,” he said. “So they were all watching TV back in Sweden.”
Viktor Stalberg and Shea Weber scored for Nashville, and Marek Mazanec made 22 saves as the Predators lost for the first time in three games.
“We showed a lot of character getting the point back, because the crowd was into it,” Trotz said. “So it’s a big point. But I’m really disappointed that we didn’t get the two.”
The Bruins were lacklustre in the first two periods—managing just three shots to Nashville’s 16 in the second—but tied it 1-1 when Boychuk, trailing a 3-on-2, took a drop pass and wristed into the net with 5 minutes gone in the third.
The Bruins took the lead with 7 1/2 minutes to play when Milan Lucic centred it from the left boards and Iginla, crashing the net, tipped it in.
Iginla’s goal, along with assists by Lucic and David Krejci, gave all three a scoring streak of six games.
But the Predators tied it less than 2 minutes later when Weber slapped in a rebound after Roman Josi outbattled Marchand for the puck behind the net.
Nashville scored first in the second period when Fisher was waiting at the blue line for the long breakout pass and he drew both defenders to him as he skated in on the right side. When his shot bounced off Svedberg into the slot, Stalberg had an open net to shoot at.
It was Stalberg’s first point in five games and his first goal since Dec. 14.
Notes: Svedberg was 13-5-3 with a 2.87 goals-against average in 22 games for Providence of the AHL this season. … It was Game 1 of a three-game road trip for the Predators. They had previously planned to fly to Florida on Friday for Saturday’s game against the Panthers; it was not clear if the snow would affect their plans. … The Predators had been 15-1-2 when scoring first.