Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports
The only big change coming to the lineup was Nick Holden replacing Adam McQuaid. With all of the depth that the Bruins have, Bruce Cassidy is able to change people in and out as he pleases to allow players to rest so that they are fresh going into the playoffs. Tuukka Rask will take the net for the B’s as Berube goes in for the Blackhawks.
What I Am Looking Forward To
This is the first game of a home and home with Chicago. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any major physical plays that will be remembered and transferred to tomorrows game. Chicago is always dangerous and the Bruins need to respect that if they want to be able to have a shot at winning this game, no matter how Chicago may look in the standings.
The period opened up with the Bruins struggling to move the puck into Chicago’s zone because of Chicago’s active stick play. The Blackhawks were on the attack right away, getting lots of chances and shots at the net, even springing Patrick Sharp on a breakaway, but he found the post. A fight broke out by the benches between John Hayden and Sean Kuraly. That fight won’t be on Don Cherry’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em anytime soon as it was just a wrestling match. The Bruins got on the power play after a Jurco penalty, but couldn’t get a good entry on the majority of their tries and Chicago was able to kill it off. Brad Marchand got into some penalty trouble after a collision with Anthony Duclair. While it did look like he tried to get out of the way but he definitely got his hands up high on Duclair. On the ensuing penalty kill, Sean Kuraly made a great play on a D-toD pass and jumped up on the play to force his own breakaway where Noel Acciari potted the rebound. After Murphy took a penalty for slew-footing Brad Marchand, the Bruins were having a lot of trouble with getting into the zone and setting up but as the power play was coming to a close, Jake DeBrusk made a great play down low to steal the puck and get it in front to David Krejci who had all the time in the world to pick his target and score. Boston was up 2-0, but as soon you thought the Bruins were safe, Chicago put up two unanswered goals to tie it. Both were shots from the point that had a lot of people in front screening.
BOS – Acciari PK (Kuraly), Krejci PP (DeBrusk, Holden)
CHI – Toews (Gustafsson, Kane), Gustafsson (Schmaltz, DeBrincat)
Boston got off to a good start in the offensive end. Rick Nash did a good job of moving the puck from behind the net to the high slot but wasn’t able to get too many chances other than that. As Boston was trying to control the puck near their blueline with close to thirteen minutes left in the period, Kampf made a great play in the neutral zone to steal the puck and get it to Hayden who took a great shot that rang off of the post and in to put Chicago up 3-2. After Riley Nash had his hand chopped, the Bruins were sent on the power play, where Jake DeBrusk sped by everyone on the outside to go low and behind the net. But just before he got behind the net, he saw David Krejci all alone in front and found him with a great pass where Krejci scored. Back even at 3-3. This didn’t last long though, as Matthew Highmore scored his first career NHL goal on a moving shot from the faceoff dot. The period ended 4-3.
BOS – Krejci PP (DeBrusk, Gionta)
CHI – Hayden (Kampf, Seabrook), Highmore (Gustafsson, Anisimov)
Boston came out hungry for the puck. Earlier in the game, you could see that Boston wasn’t winning the battles they needed to but they turned that around in the first half of the third period. They were playing hard on the puck, making those quick little passes to open up space and playing well along the boards. This resulted in a zone entry where Marchand rifled a shot off of the shoulder of the goalie where the puck popped off and dropped to the streaking Pastrnak who was crashing the net. After the goal, Patrick Kane was trying to get the puck away from Sean Kuraly, bur caught him in the face with his stick and drew blood, resulting in a four-minute double minor for Chicago. Boston took full advantage of this, with both Brian Gionta and Rick Nash scoring on great plays in front of the net. After those two goals, Chicago started to panic and took yet another penalty for tripping. This was killed off and with about two minutes left in the game, Chicago pulled their goalie, where Sean Kuraly scored to end the game.
BOS – Pastrnak (Marchand, Riley Nash), Gionta PP (DeBrusk, Grzelcyk), Rick Nash PP (Krug, Marchand), Kuraly EN (Schaller, Chara)
CHI – N/A
Just look at all of the chances that Boston had compared to Chicago. While Chicago focused on the low-right side, the left side of the blueline and front of the net, Boston took shots from everywhere, keeping Berube on his toes all game.
KG’s Three Stars Of The Game
1st: Jake DeBrusk – What a game by the rookie. He assisted on three goals, including the game-winner and all of his assists came on the power play. He also had six shots on net that led the team.
2nd: David Krejci – After being very close to a hat-trick himself, Krejci deserves all of the praise he gets. Both of his goals came from great positioning in front of the net.
3rd: Sean Kuraly – A real gritty game for Kuraly, as he got a Gordie Howe hat-trick with a stick to the face too. A great game for a player who wasn’t on the scoresheet as much as he would have liked to in the past couple of games.
MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Nick Holden – He may have only had one assist and no shots during the game, but when tou look at how the Gionta and Rick Nash goals were scored, you’ll see that Holden held the puck in the zone and was able to make a play with it. The Bruins wouldn’t have gotten those go-ahead goals without him.
BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game
Sunday, March 11th in Chicago