Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens players engage during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Marchand has hat trick, Bruins beat Canadiens 5-1

Marchand has hat trick, Bruins beat Canadiens 5-1

Marchand has hat trick, Bruins beat Canadiens 5-1

BOSTON (AP) — 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. “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.

Curtis Lazar also scored for Boston and Urho Vaakanainen got his first NHL goal. 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.

NHL