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Bruins 5, Red Wings 1

The Bruins were already red-hot. Then they got Brad Marchand back.

Patrice Bergeron (right) welcomed his left wing back to the line and Brad Marchand contributed two goals and an assist to the win.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

True to form, Brad Marchand did not wade back into the pool. He took a running start, tucked into a cannonball, and soaked the Red Wings.

The No. 1 left wing had two goals and an assist, and logged a healthy 17:31 in his season debut, five months after double hip surgery. He nearly had a hat trick on a third-period wraparound bid.

The Bruins, meanwhile, played like they didn’t need him.

They pounded the visitors, 5-1, to take sole possession of first place in the NHL standings (7-1-0) and goal-scoring columns (34).

Leading 2-1 after two periods, the Bruins scored three times early in the third — in a span of one minute, 21 seconds — to make it a rout. Marchand’s power-play putback, Craig Smith’s first goal of the season and David Pastrnak’s one-time rocket on the power play gave the Bruins a four-goal lead.


Charlie Coyle scored the opening goal, tapping the keg in the first period.

Netminder Jeremy Swayman, making his first start since a 7-5 loss in Ottawa nine days ago, settled in nicely and stopped 28 of 29 shots.

“Confident, top of the crease, skating, trusting my abilities, feeling the puck, seeing the puck,” Swayman said. “When I got another chance, I was going to give my team the best chance to win.”

OK, now here’s the bad news for Boston: David Krejci did not play the final 11:50 of the second and sat out the third. He took a late hit from Michael Rasmussen and left the ice in pain. The Bruins were assessing his injury late into the night.

Krejci will not play in Columbus on Friday.

He was ailing on a night the Bruins traded a would-be center of the future, Jack Studnicka, to the Canucks for an AHL goaltender (Michael DiPietro) and a defensive prospect (Jonathan Myrenberg).


Marchand had his first point — and the Bruins had a lead — at 13:42 of the first.

Brad Marchand (left) and Patrice Bergeron played together on Thursday for the first time since the 2022 playoffs.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

He and Jake DeBrusk worked the wall until Marchand fired a sharp cross-zone pass to Derek Forbort at the point, curling his hands to keep the puck from a defensive stick. Forbort slipped it to an onrushing Coyle, who steamrolled through a pair of Wings and ripped a rolling puck upstairs past netminder Ville Husso (28 saves).

“It’s amazing how he comes up with pucks,” coach Jim Montgomery said of Marchand. “The puck’s in between three bodies, and he’s like a Tasmanian devil, twirling all around. It’s amazing. The puck seems to follow him. He tracks it. He follows it. He’ll bite your leg off for it.”

Marchand sniped his first goal of the season from the left circle on the second of two consecutive power plays in the second period. He scored at 11:53, walking in, firing a snapshot, and pumping his fist.

He credited Montgomery for telling him to shoot low glove on Husso. Marchand said he tried to go high glove first, and his coach nodded a reminder at him on the bench. Low glove: goal.

Marchand’s strike came after Rasmussen (6 feet 6 inches, 211 pounds), taking his second penalty of the period, belted Krejci and followed through with a high stick. The hit caused Krejci to double over as he made his way to the dressing room at 8:10 of the second. He skated nine shifts for 6:53.


Brad Marchand had 17 minutes, 31 seconds of ice time Thursday.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Krejci’s absence meant more minutes for Coyle, who took a few turns centering Taylor Hall and Pastrnak, and Pavel Zacha, who is likely to fill that role on Friday.

Swayman stopped the first 19 shots he saw, flawless until Adam Erne made it 2-1 with 1:11 left in the second. On a broken play, Erne fired a turnaround from high in the zone that deflected in off Connor Clifton.

Late in the first, Forbort and Swayman bailed out the Bruins when the Red Wings had a 3 on 1. Patrice Bergeron broke his stick on a one-timer attempt high in the zone, and his slide-tackle attempt, while creative, couldn’t stop Dylan Larkin from breaking out. At the other end, Forbort blocked Larkin’s pass across the slot, and Swayman denied Dominik Kubalik on the rebound to keep the visitors scoreless.

Forbort, playing some of the best hockey of his eight-year career, also dropped Joe Veleno with a stiff check in the defensive zone.

Swayman snuffed out two more mistakes in the first. He made a point-blank blocker stop on Erne after Jakub Zboril’s turnover behind the net, and stuffed Andrew Copp’s turnaround in tight. He made 10 saves in the first.

General manager Don Sweeney, speaking late Thursday, said his red-hot squad was staying grounded.

“Nobody’s trying to get ahead of themselves,” he said. “We’re just trying to take it game by game. We’ve got a long road ahead of us.”

Matt Porter can be reached at Follow him @mattyports.