Patrice Bergeron made sure a day that began with a ceremony honoring him ended with cheers for the whole team, as the Bruins beat the numbers to pull off a third-period comeback and down the Los Angeles Kings by a 5-4 overtime final.
Congratulatory videos were shown from teammates past and present, and opponents from the around the National Hockey League, including Sidney Crosby and Shea Weber.
Paul Pierce, Julian Edelman, fresh off his Super Bowl victory with the Patriots, Jason Varitek and David Ortiz also joined in.
It's disheartening to see Boston struggling with the same issues this deep into the season (there are just twenty-eight games to go), but they have the potential to be great; there's no denying that.
The B's had a two goal lead in the third period only to give it away and Kings forced the overtime.
Kopitar made it 2-1 when he one-timed a pass from Dustin Brown from the bottom of the right circle at 14:02.
The Bruins then took their two-goal lead when Marchand converted a ideal pass from Bergeron for a short-handed goal at the end of a 2-on-1 break. The goal was his 20th tally of the season and capped a game in which he found Marchand for a shorthanded score in the first period, then delivered a attractive no-look assist to Charlie McAvoy in the second. Bergeron collected a pass down low, twisted his hands quickly and made an off-balance feed to McAvoy, who was coming hard down the middle toward the net. The best was when he came across the crease to block Peter Cehlarik's shot from the bottom of the right circle.
On Tuesday, he became the fifth player in Bruins' history to play 1,000 games with the team. The others to play that many with the Bruins are Hall of Famers Ray Bourque and John Bucyk, current GM Don Sweeney and Wayne Cashman.
The rest of the second period saw this game flipped on its head, though, as the Kings straight-up dominated and outworked the Bruins in all three zones. Their next chance to prove that comes tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
But the Bruins have fallen back to their early season ways since returning from the All-Star break, no longer as injury-plagued as they were before, but still middling and seemingly entire incapable of living up to their full potential. Los Angeles C Jeff Carter missed his third straight with a lower-body injury. He received gifts and loud ovations from the TD Garden crowd. The Celtics were set to host the Clippers Saturday night.
The Bruins conclude the rare home back-to-back with a Sunday visit from the Colorado Avalanche.