Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand returns with two goals, assist

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand had two goals and an assist in his season debut and the Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to four games, beating the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 on Thursday night.

Marchand returned after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in May to repair cartilage in his hips. The 34-year-old forward was expected to be off the ice for six months. Instead, he was proclaimed good to return by Bruins coach Jim Montgomery following the morning skate Thursday.

"He's a world-class player. It's amazing how he comes up with pucks. The puck is between three bodies and he's like the Tasmanian devil, twirling all around,'' Montgomery said about Marchand. "It's amazing. He tracks and fights for it and bite your leg off for it. That's why we love him.''

For now, Boston plans to rest Marchand on the second night of back-to-back games. That includes Friday night's matchup in Columbus, Ohio.

"We've been very careful throughout this progression,'' said Marchand, who was in his usual spot on the first line with Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk on Thursday. "Definitely felt more comfortable as the game progressed.''

Bruins forward David Krejci left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. Montgomery confirmed that Krejci won't be traveling for Friday's game at Columbus.

Marchand led the Bruins last season with 80 points in 70 games, notching 32 goals. He had 11 points in seven postseason games before the Bruins bowed out to the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Bruins are off to the best start in the league with seven wins in their first eight games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.