By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Arena: SAP Center – San Jose, California, USA
Home: San Jose Sharks (35-17-7)
Away: Boston Bruins (34-17-8)
The Bruins enter the third game of their five-game road trip with five wins in a row and now heading into a tougher stretch of schedule with games against the Sharks, Golden Knights, Blues, and Lightning all in close radar. With the recent win over Los Angeles on Saturday, the Bruins narrowly have the second Atlantic division spot over Toronto who are only one point back.
The San Jose Sharks have become one of the top contenders in the Western Conference once again, especially with the addition of Erik Karlsson back in September of 2018. Brent Burns is on pace to be in contention of another Norris Trophy when the season comes to a conclusion. The Sharks recently beat the Vancouver Canucks and currently hold the second position in the Pacific division.
Bruins Gameday Lineup:
Forward Peter Cehlarik is out of the lineup tonight due to a lower-body injury suffered against the Kings on Saturday. Karson Kuhlman will play on the second-line with Krejci and DeBrusk in only his second NHL game.
What a start to this Monday night game. Over ten straight minutes, yes halfway of the first period, only one whistle was blown. Both the Sharks and Bruins had chances back and forth and quite frankly, no team really was blowing the other team away. At one point in the first, Chris Wagner right in front the puck goes over the shoulder of Jones and looks to be going across the line, but Marc-Eduard Vlasic makes a brilliant save with the stick on the goal line to keep it 0-0.
With 9:03 remaining, Sean Kuraly gets high stick to the face by Tomas Hertl and the Sharks are headed to the box. Immediately at the start of the power-play, Torey Krug mishandles the puck, allowing Evander Kane all alone on a shorthanded breakaway, only to ring the shot off of the post. San Jose did a great job pressure the B’s and retrieving the puck back for a clear.
On what seemed like the final clear of the PK, Matt Grzelcyk gets a stick up in his face as well and the Bruins are right back on the man-advantage. Less than a minute onto the power-play, the Bruins finally figure out how to cycle the puck around the zone, allowing Torey Krug to unleash a bomb short-side past Jones, 1-0 Bruins. Krug’s 6th of the season assisted by Krejci (36) and Bergeron (35).
Not letting up on the early lead, the Bruins looked to add to their opening tally. Brad Marchand made a nice move in the offensive zone to rip a quick wrist shot towards Jones but it goes off of the red pipe and redirects to the corner. High-paced first period from both teams and the chances continue to pile up.
At the 16:26 mark of the opening frame, Sean Kuraly wins an offensive zone faceoff clean backwards to Zdeno Chara who one-times the puck top corner past Jones and the Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the final five minutes of the period. Chara’s goal is his 199th career NHL goal since he began his career in 1997. This is his fourth of the season assisted by Sean Kuraly (11).
The killer instinct by the Bruins does not stop there. David Krejci uses his supreme vision to find an open Jake DeBrusk up the ice who has rookie Karson Kuhlman on the other side of the ice. DeBrusk looks like he is about to shoot the puck short-side until the very last second where he feeds the puck across to Kuhlman who buries his first career NHL goal, making it 3-0 Boston with just around a minute-and-a-half left to play. Assists go to DeBrusk (9) and Krejci (37).
Two goals 1:58 apart for the Boston Bruins in the first period, but the Sharks want in on some of the goal-scoring and will do just that. Joe Pavelski wraps the puck around, bouncing it off the pad for former-Bruin Joe Thornton to bury his eleventh goal of the 2018-19 season on the backhand with only three seconds to go in the frame.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 8 SJS: 8
Score: 3-1 Bruins – Goals: Krug (8) PPG Assists: Krejci (36), Bergeron (35); Chara (4) Assists: Kuraly (11); Kuhlman (1) Assists: DeBrusk (9), Krejci (37); Thornton (11) Assists: Pavelski (22)
Sharks started off the middle period with some more zone time and shots on Rask and on one of the clear attempts, Kevan Miller accidentally hits the puck up and over the glass, resulting in the ever-so-disliked delay-of-game penalty and Boston will be shorthanded for two minutes.
Boston fails to put enough strength on the clear attempt, allowing the Sharks to cycle the puck around and Brent Burns’ shot gets deflected by Joe Pavelski that goes up and over Tuukka Rask. San Jose right back within only a goal under three minutes into the second. Assists go to Burns (54) and Couture (33).
Nearly five minutes in, another whistle, very much unlike the first period, but one that the Bruins will like. Joe Pavelski gets his stick caught up on Chara and is called for hooking – a two-minute minor and it’s yet another B’s power-play. On the man-advantage, the Bruins look like they cannot get any opportunities, but they do, right at the end.
David Backes made a nifty move with his skate to pass the puck off of the boards in the neutral zone to Jake DeBrusk who passes it to Danton Heinen. Heinen returns the puck right back to DeBrusk alone on a partial breakaway and DeBrusk fires a shot past Jones to reinstate a two-goal lead for Boston. Four consecutive games with goals for DeBrusk and that’s number eighteen on the season assisted by Heinen (11) and Backes (9).
Frustration for San Jose may be setting in perhaps as Brendon Dillon nails Sean Kuraly from behind as Kuraly attempted to spin away from it but the hit resulted in some pushing and shoving in the corner just as Charlie McAvoy found himself all alone with a great chance to score on Jones. Whistles blow though as Wagner and Braun each get five minutes in the box for fighting. No instigator penalties are handed out with 9:35 remaining in the second period.
Late in the second period, the Sharks manage to get themselves back within a goal as Jumbo Joe Thornton finds another rebound shot to score his second goal of the game – the first time he’s scored two goals in a game this season. Sorensen (9) and Simek (8) get the helpers on the play. Unlucky break for the Bruins there with just over three minutes to play in the second.
For the third time tonight, the San Jose Sharks will have a man in the box for high-sticking as Joe Thornton gets his lumber up in the face of Brad Marchand and with 1:29 to go, Boston is on the 5-on-4 power-play for two minutes. Somehow, Logan Couture is found deep in the neutral zone, makes a nice move around Krug and nearly scores but due a hook by Marchand, a penalty shot is awarded with 24.7 seconds to go and Couture simply shoots it five-hole past Rask, tying the game at four apiece.
Not nearly as good of a period for the Bruins as the opening one was, going to need a solid final twenty minutes and maybe more to beat the Sharks tonight. Bruins were outshot 14-4 in the second period alone.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 12 SJS: 22
Score: 4-4 – Goals: Pavelski (32) PPG Assists: Burns (54), Couture (33); DeBrusk (18) Assists: Heinen (11), Backes (9); Thornton (12) Assists: Sorensen (9), Simek (8); Couture (22) Unassisted
San Jose opened the final regulation period with a couple solid shots on Tuukka Rask, one of which off of a big Timo Meier deflection. Still early on, the Bruins are called on a delay-of-game penalty because David Backes apparently took too long to make a change prior to a faceoff. Bruins successfully kill off the penalty though and the game continues 5-on-5.
Boston has had issues in this game at getting the puck out of the zone on rushes. At one point in the first half of the third, the Bruins did not get a shot on Martin Jones in over nineteen minutes of game-time. It has been proven that it is much, much harder to score when you do not shoot at the goaltender.
Sean Kuraly set up Noel Acciari right in front of the crease for the first shot in what seemed like four games, but the Sharks return right away with a bullet of a shot by Hertl that rings the bar, so loud that us Canadians could hear it. Rask does not look as calm as he did against the Kings, that shot was clean past him.
Around the six-minute mark, Joe Thornton walks in and shoots it right past Tuukka Rask to give the Sharks a 5-4 lead with 6:28 remaining. Bruins collapsing ever since the 3-1 goal with three seconds to go. Assists to Thornton’s hat-trick go to Pavelski (23) and Braun (13).
While it looks like the Bruins were down and out, Brandon Carlo rifled a bomb that was rebounded by Wagner. Wagner then hit the puck what looked like to be above the crossbar, but it goes into the Sharks net and due to it being a non-reviewable play for some reason, the goal stands and the Bruins tie the game with just around two minutes left to play. Wagner sets a new career high for goals in a year with eight and it’s assisted by Carlo (4) and Acciari (4).
Shots On Goal: BOS: 19 SJS: 33
Score: 5-5 – Goals: Thornton (13) Assists: Pavelski (23), Braun (13); Wagner (8), Carlo (4), Acciari (4)
First thirty seconds of 3-on-3 overtime is full San Jose. Some big shots on Rask, all of which stopped. Tuukka attempted his double pad stack again, but the shot missed. B’s finally get the puck out of the defensive end, but Brent Burns comes back and gets a sharp wrist shot that almost sneaks through him, but Matt Grzelcyk slaps it out of harm’s way.
It has been a poor night for Torey Krug tonight. In this overtime alone, Krug has been chased down numerous times, resulting in either a turnover or an icing call. One of these mistakes led to a Hertl shot as he skated across the crease but Rask makes a big save. As the play continues, the net comes off but because the Bruins are on a rush, the refs left it causing some controversy when the Sharks had a 2-on-0 and the whistle was blown dead.
Later on in overtime, the Bruins somehow get alone 3-on-2, creating a beautiful DeBrusk-to-Krejci-to-McAvoy goal to win the game in overtime. Bruins survive a three-goal lead blown to win their sixth straight game. McAvoy’s 4th assisted by Krejci (38) and DeBrusk (10).
Shots On Goal: BOS: 20 SJS: 38
Final Score: 6-5 Bruins
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS F Jake DeBrusk – 1 Goal, 2 Assists, +2 Rating, 17:59 TOI
2nd Star: SJS F Joe Thornton – 3 Goals, 3 Shots, +2 Rating, 4 Takeaways
3rd Star: BOS F David Krejci – 3 Assists, +1 Rating 20:24 TOI
Bruins now head to Vegas for a game against the Golden Knights on Wednesday with six straight wins.