By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Following two consecutive wins this week over the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins are at home to take on the Minnesota Wild as forward Charlie Coyle plays his old team. Boston is third in the NHL league standings with a 14-3-5 record. The Minnesota Wild is the fourth-worst team in the National Hockey League with an overall record of 9-11-2.
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (14-3-5)
Away: Minnesota (9-11-2)
Bruins Last Result: Bruins won 3-2 vs BUF
Bruins Gameday Lineup:
Torey Krug is back in the lineup while Connor Clifton is a scratch.
As soon as the game begins, the Wild come out of the gate with a couple shots off of Bruins defensive zone turnovers but Rask makes the stops. On the first breakout, Anders Bjork tries to get around Jared Spurgeon but instead draws a hooking minor. Boston doesn’t score on the ensuing man-advantage but does get three shots on goal including a shot off the post from Danton Heinen.
3:55 into the game, the Bruins take a penalty of their own when Chara gets his stick caught in the Minnesota player away from the play and he’ll sit in the box for two minutes. Bruins looked good on the penalty-kill, even getting a decent chance shorthanded, but the game goes back to 5-on-5 with a 0-0 score.
With just over eleven minutes into the period, Torey Krug and Kevin Fiala get into a back-and-forth battle at center ice – slashing each other in the legs, but Krug takes the last swing, resulting in a slashing minor for the returning defencemen. Six seconds into the power-play, the Wild win the offensive zone faceoff and Jason Zucker buries the backhand rebound, 1-0 Wild.
Later on, Brad Marchand brings the puck into the Wild’s zone and meets Matthew Dumba. Dumba and Marchand get into a shoving match that results in Marchand tossing Dumba to the ice. Officials are forced to separate the two and we get some 4-on-4 hockey as both get offsetting minors. With 30 seconds remaining on the penalties, McAvoy gets his stick caught in the skates of Zucker and he goes off for tripping, 4-on-3 hockey then will go to 5-on-4.
Minnesota hammered many shots but all were denied. As soon as the penalty ended, the Bruins get a 3-on-0 chance on Stalock but McAvoy gets robbed, Bruins stay off the board. McAvoy is the only regular on the B’s that does not have a goal yet this season and that may have been the best chance to do so.
Not the best period for the Boston Bruins with all of the penalties but it was better than Thursday versus the Sabres and they are only down by a single goal on home ice.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 10 MIN: 15
Score: 1-0 Wild – Goals: Zucker (8) Assists: Hunt (6), Zuccarello (6)
The middle frame started off a bit better for the Bruins. They had better puck control and there was not a whole lot of excitement to begin the period until Zdeno Chara gets the puck from a pass down low by Brett Ritchie for a blast from the point. His slapshot gets tipped by Jake DeBrusk and the puck goes five-hole past Stalock. DeBrusk’s fourth of the season ties the game.
Only minutes later, however, the puck is thrown towards the net and the rebound goes off of Victor Rask skates while he was battling to the net and it beats Tuukka Rask, Minnesota takes back the lead. Officials briefly the play for a possible kicking motion, but they needed very little time to confirm a good goal, Wild lead 2-1.
The period took a hard turn after that goal as Zdeno Chara gets called on a double-minor for high sticking later in the period and on the ensuing penalty-kill, Eric Staal manages to get his stick on the puck right in front of Rask and the Wild take a 3-1 lead in this hockey game. Bruins kill off the remainder of Chara’s penalty after the goal, but the game took a large turn from it being 1-1 early.
The penalties keep coming. With just over three minutes left to tick away in the second period, Brad Marchand is caught cross-checking and he goes to the box. Bruins are playing undisciplined hockey right now and it is costing them in all ways. Bruins do kill it off, but it’s hard to score if you are constantly down a man.
The never-give-up attitude of the Boston Bruins was on full display, however, as in the dying seconds of the middle regulation period, Brad Marchand makes up for his penalty only a few seconds prior as he buries a rebound to cut the lead to one goal. The solid goal right at the end of the period that may sway the momentum to Boston heading into the third period.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 23 MIN: 26
Score: 3-2 Wild – Goals: DeBrusk (4) Assists: Chara (6), Ritchie (2); V. Rask (2) Assists: Spurgeon (9), Suter (11); Staal PPG (7) Assists: Suter (12), Zuccarello (7); Marchand (16) Assists: Krug (12), Bergeron (13)
Thirty seconds into the final regulation period, down by a goal, and Patrice Bergeron gets called on a tripping penalty when Jonas Brodin falls over the stick of Bergeron while the two were behind the Minnesota net. Boston is 4-for-6 on the penalty-kill so far tonight. Bruins do a good job keeping the chances to the minimum and kill off another one.
Just about five minutes into the period, the Bruins win an offensive zone faceoff but turn the puck over to Kevin Fiala immediately rushes down the ice throwing the puck towards the net for a driving Zach Parise, but the puck hits the inside of Rask’s stick and beats him, Minnesota takes back their two-goal advantage.
With 5:21 remaining, Victor Rask gets called on a holding call and the Wild are going to be shorthanded for two minutes. This is only the second chance on the power-play for the Bruins tonight and with little time left, they need a tally. Marchand nearly strikes right away, but Stalock robs him. The Wild successfully kill off the penalty.
Shortly after Tuukka Rask was pulled from the net, David Krejci takes a feed from Patrice Bergeron right around the net-front area to score on the 6-on-5 scenario and now Boston is only down by one with 1:55 left to tick away. Still, some life remains for the B’s.
The possibility to score increases as Boston will go to the power-play as Luke Kunin goes off for tripping with 1:31 to go. It will be 6-on-4 Boston for the remainder of the game most likely for the Black and Gold unless a goal happens. And a goal happened. David Krejci with a blistering BOMB with 1:07 left in the third and we are tied. Somehow, someway the Bruins equalized the score.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 38 MIN: 33
Energy running rampant in this 3-on-3 overtime session as both teams get a few great chances to bury the game-winning goal. David Krejci, after tying the game late, drives the puck to the net and gets a close shot on net that creates a McAvoy rebound, but McAvoy fanned on the puck.
Game. Over. Torey Krug pulls a Bobby Orr-esque move from his bag of tricks as he takes the puck from behind his own net to drive all the way down the ice, straight through the middle of the traffic, and dangles to bury a backhander past Stalock. Bruins win 5-4.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 39 MIN: 36
Final Score: 5-4 Bruins
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS F Patrice Bergeron – 4 Assists, 3 Shots, 55% Faceoffs, 16:40 TOI
2nd Star: BOS F David Krejci – 2 Goals (in final 2 minutes), 5 Shots, 16:56 TOI
3rd Star: BOS D Torey Krug – 1 Goal (GWG), 2 Assists, 6 Shots, 20:26 TOI
Boston’s come-from-behind victory boosts them to a 15-3-5 record to boost themselves to second in the NHL with 35 points on the season. Boston’s next game is Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal.