(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Home: Boston Bruins
Away: Florida Panthers
Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen
Cehlarik – Krejci – Kuhlman
Nordstrom – Coyle – Backes
Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Moore – Grzelcyk
Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov
Vatrano – Trocheck – Hoffman
Hunt – Sheahan – Brouwer
McGinn – Borgstrom – Hawryluk
Matheson – Ekblad
Yandle – Weegar
Pysyk – Brown
The Bruins came into this one with a point or more in their last 17 games. They looked to continue that streak against a struggling Panthers team. The big pre-game news was that Karson Kuhlman would sub in for Jake DeBrusk who is dealing with a lower-body injury. Not much really happened of significance early on until Matt Grzelcyk took a hooking penalty, but it ended with a fairly routine penalty kill for the Bruins.
It was a pretty cut-and-dry period all around. The shots were 10-9 Florida.
Things got interesting early with a near goal by Brad Marchand, and a tripping penalty called on Brandon Carlo. Florida converted on an Aleksander Barkov tip to make it 1-0 early on in the power play. David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom nearly connected for the equalizer almost immediately afterward.
Misfortune continued for the Bruins when Jonathan Huberdeau scored early on in the power play that resulted from Zdeno Chara’s delay of game penalty. The goal was reviewed for a high stick, but the call on the ice stood.
A little more than halfway through the period, the Bruins finally found their way on to the scoreboard thanks to a really nice give-and-go between Danton Heinen and David Krejci. His 17th goal of the season was assisted by Heinen (16) and Backes (10).
Krejci stayed in the fray of things when he drew a high sticking penalty within the final two minutes of the period. The Panthers lead in shots again, 7-5 in the period, 17-14 overall, but the Bruins made some headway towards a comeback.
Score: 2-1 Florida
Florida’s two goals on the night to this point came on the power play, and they got an opportunity for another when Chris Wagner went off for tripping. Their power play didn’t last long as Barkov went off for a trip of his own to make it 4-on-4. A Marchand breakaway highlighted the 4-on-4, but no one scored.
It was all about the penalties early on in the third as Torey Krug was the next culprit for hooking. Tuukka Rask made some huge saves on the penalty kill on some of Florida’s top players. Then, who else but Patrice Bergeron to even things up, and whilst shorthanded. 2-2 with around 11 minutes to go. Bergeron’s 24th of the season was assisted by Charlie McAvoy (15) and Marchand (51).
The tie didn’t last long as Huberdeau gave Florida the lead back with his second goal of the game.
Krejci drew yet another penalty in the last three minutes of regulation, giving the Bruins a huge opportunity to tie the game. With just around a minute to go, Rask was pulled for the extra attacker. That move proved fruitful as Matt Grzelcyk picked an ideal time to end his 48-game goal drought and tie the game. Marchand and McAvoy tallied their second points of the game on the assist of Grzelcyk’s second goal of the season.
Remember what I said about Bergeron? Oh yeah, he scored another clutch goal. Seven seconds left, puck on his stick, game over. This Bruins team is something else.
The point streak extends itself to 18 games. Brad Marchand’s third assist of the game was the lone one on the goal. The shots in the period were 14-7 Bruins, and 28-24 overall. Next up for the Bruins are the Ottawa Senators at home at 7 PM on Saturday.