By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Ritchie – Krejci – Coyle
Frederic – Lindholm – Studnicka
Bjork – Kuraly – Wagner
Lauzon – McAvoy
Grzelcyk – Carlo
Zboril – Miller
Guentzel – Crosby – Rust
Zucker – Malkin – Kapanen
McCann – Blueger – Tanev
O’Connor – Jankowski – Sceviour
Joseph – Letang
Marino – Ceci
Czuczman – Ruhwedel
It was a pretty cool gesture by the Bruins to use Bishop Feehan’s colors for their stick tape in warmups for Senior forward A.J. Quetta. Additionally, the Jacobs family pledged a minimum $100,000 donation to the Quetta family to support his recovery, and Brad Marchand hung A.J.’s jersey on the glass behind the Bruins bench. You can donate to A.J.’s GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses here.
This one started off in a weird way when the referee mentioned that an early Penguins tripping penalty on Tristan Jarry, but it was Jason Zucker ended up in the box that tripped Craig Smith. I was just thrown off by it at first, is all. The Penguins killed the penalty with ease.
Chris Wagner took advantage of a mistake by Kevin Czuczman in front of the net and buried it to give the Bruins the early lead at the 13:50 mark. Less than a minute later, Charlie Coyle went off for two minutes for holding, but the Bruins killed it off.
Cody Ceci walked in and tied the game up with 4:57 to go. Not the best look on defense for the Bruins and they paid for it. Sean Kuraly picked up his first goal of the season off of his skate out front thanks to a shot from Anders Bjork. The assist was Bjork’s first of the season.
The first period was a pretty great one overall outside of the Ceci goal. The fourth line especially was spectacular with a pretty small sample size to work with. Shots on goal were nine to six in favor of the Bruins.
Score: 2-1 Boston
Things were fairly pedestrian until Patrice Bergeron added the insurance marker on a chance right around Jarry’s crease. Matt Grzelcyk (3) and Charlie Coyle (2) had the helpers on Bergeron’s fourth of the season. There was an eight and a half minute span where the Bruins held the Penguins without a shot. Things were going pretty well.
Jeremy Lauzon sat for two minutes for interference on a battle for positioning in close proximity to Jaroslav Halak, giving the Penguins their second power play of the game, at the 6:20 mark.
The Penguins had a couple of pretty good chances early on in the man advantage, but Halak equal to the task. Kevan Miller made a big play in Halak’s crease, clearing a puck out of sure danger towards the end of the penalty kill, helping kill the remainder of the penalty.
Grzelcyk went off for holding at the 1:25 mark. A pretty good stand by the Bruins heading into intermission, especially by Lauzon, kept this as a two-goal game. Shots on goal in the second period were seven to five in favor of the Bruins, bringing the total to 16 to 11.
Score: 3-1 Boston
Just 20 seconds after the conclusion of the Grzelcyk holding penalty from the second period, John Marino went off for interference. Bergeron made it hurt with his second of the game right in his office at the top corner of the right-side circle. Brad Marchand (6) and Charlie McAvoy (5) had the helpers.
Matt Grzelcyk must have reaggravated one of his previous injuries, because he left the bench with around 13-14 minutes left in the third period. I thought maybe something was tweaked in the holding infraction, but head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game that it was a different lower-body injury and the Grzelcyk, and that he will probably not play on Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
The Bruins closed this one out pretty eloquently, despite being outshot six to four in the final frame. The finals shots were 20 to 17 in their favor. A pretty low-volume game in terms of shots, but they converted at a rate of 20 percent. Bjork had his best game of the season. Halak made 16 saves on 17 shots. This game was another step in the right direction. That’ll work. The Bruins are 5-1-1.