(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Home: Boston Bruins
Away: San Jose Sharks
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Coyle – Heinen
Bjork – Lindholm – Ritchie
Wagner – Kuraly – Backes
Chara – McAvoy
Krug – Carlo
Grzelcyk – Clifton
San Jose’s Lineup
Marleau – Couture – Labanc
Kane – Hertl – Radil
Sorensen – Thornton – Meier
Goodrow – Gambrell – Karlsson
Vlasic – Burns
Dillon – Karlsson
Ferraro – Heed
David Krejci and Chris Wagner made their way back to the lineup on Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Sharks. You can donate to the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative here. With Krejci’s return came the debut of a new second-line this season, with Danton Heinen getting a promotion to Krejci’s right-wing. Rask got the start after Halak played on Sunday.
“The Mighty Quinn,” Quinn Waters dropped the puck before this one. BNG writer Yanni Latzanakis wrote about Quinn earlier this month. You can read Yanni’s story about Quinn here. What a night for him, and for fellow Weymouth, Mass native Charlie Coyle as well.
Things were quiet early in the first until Barclay Goodrow went off for tripping. The lethal Bruins power play had its first opportunity. Someone scored on the power play. It was David Pastrnak, again. This was shortly after Brad Marchand was robbed of a high-danger scoring chance in front of the net by a blocked shot. The play was challenged by Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer for offsides, but to no avail. Pastrnak’s league-leading 12th of the season was assisted by Patrice Bergeron (7) to give the Bruins an early lead.
Right after the Pastrnak goal came another Bruins power play. This time, Lukas Radil went off for delay of game. Just around halfway through the man advantage, Jake DeBrusk found himself on a 3-on-1 with Marchand and Pastrnak, but Martin Jones made the stop.
As the man advantage began to fade away, Matt Grzelcyk made it 4-on-4 briefly when he went off for holding. The Sharks had some solid zone time on the power play, but couldn’t beat Tuukka Rask. The Bruins held on to their one-goal lead.
Late in the period, Tomas Hertl incidentally caught Charlie McAvoy up high and sat for two minutes as a result. After some time, David Krejci found himself all alone and smoked a one-timer past Jones to extend the lead to two. Krejci’s first of the season was assisted by Torey Krug (8) and Brad Marchand (14). The Bruins were 2 for 3 on the power play in the first period.
The Bruins really pushed the pace early on in this one. Shots were 16-6, scoring chances were 11-4, both in favor of the Bruins. It was one of the more dominant periods of the season.
Score: 2-0 Boston
A golden opportunity to get back into this game came early in the second period for the Sharks. Krejci went off for hooking, and Brent Burns made it hurt on the power play, cutting the lead in half for the Bruins just a minute and 31 seconds into the period.
Nearly two minutes later, Hertl took his second penalty of the game, this time for tripping. Scoring opportunities came and went, but the Bruins couldn’t convert. That was until not too long after the power play concluded, Krejci put a slap pass right on Coyle’s tape for a tap-in goal to extend the lead back to two. Coyle’s second goal in as many games, and second of the season was assisted by Krejci and Heinen for their second assists. As good a time as ever for seconds, I suppose.
Add seven minutes of strong play in the second period to a great first period, and you’ll see a daunting 22-9 shot advantage for the Bruins. They weren’t giving the Sharks much of anything.
A solid pass from just inside of the defensive blue line by David Backes led to Chris Wagner finding space and burying a backhander on a breakaway, adding to a very productive offensive night for the Bruins. Wagner gets his first goal of the season, Backes gets his first helper.
The Sharks just weren’t doing themselves any favors as Radil went to the box again. Luckily for him, it didn’t lead to another power play goal for the Bruins, but not thanks to a lack of effort. The chances were coming over and over again, even after the conclusion of the power play.
Wagner picked up his third assist of the season as Brandon Carlo sent a shot on net that was deflected on the way in that fooled Jones, making it 5-1 Bruins. Zdeno Chara (2) had the secondary assist on Carlo’s second of the season.
The shots were 18-6 in another dominant period for the Bruins, bringing the total to 34-12. Scoring chances were 13-2, and 24-6 overall. It was all gas, no brakes hockey that gave them a huge four-goal cushion going into the third period. Here’s a visual.
Score: 5-1 Boston
Things got messy early as Chara didn’t like a cross-check to the neck from Evander Kane to Charlie McAvoy and got into it briefly with Brenden Dillon. Chara, McAvoy, Kane, and Dillon all went to the box, but the Bruins ended up with a power play. Chara and Dillon got offsetting roughing penalties, as did McAvoy and Kane, and Kane got an additional two-minutes for high sticking.
Kane lined McAvoy up along the boards after the incident and Chara wanted a piece of him. They exchanged words and went their separate ways. Radil then took a third penalty of the game, but DeBrusk also took one, creating a 4-on-4. Neither team scored.
Things settled down after the theatrics before Brett Ritchie and Barclay Goodrow dropped the gloves in the first fight of the year. Brad Marchand and Logan Couture then locked up behind the Sharks net, but it didn’t materialize into much. Pete DeBoer was thrown out of the game, yes you read that right.
Backes then decided to say hello to Kane along the boards and got tied up with Radil in response. In a continuing theme, Kane made more friends than enemies in Boston, as he did last February when he dropped the gloves with Chara. Grzelcyk went down the tunnel late in the frame after taking a hit up high from Timo Meier, and a scrum ensued. The third period was a mess
Misconducts and scrums galore closed out this one. Rask didn’t have a very busy night, but stopped 16 of 17 shots. The shots were 9-5 Bruins in the third period (41-17 total). The Bruins had as many power play shots as the Sharks had total shots, and now they are 9-1-2 and rolling. Next up are the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at TD Garden 7:00 PM ET.