Final Score: BUF 0-4 BOS
Well would you look at that, I was right! I laid out my 3 keys last night (Fix the Power Play, go to Pastrnak, Play the Second Period) and said that’s how we would win! Guess what? That’s exactly how we won! Okay, maybe not exactly how we won, but those definitely played a huge role in the 4-0 redemption game for Boston. And although I forgot to post it, my 3-1 prediction was pretty close, too. So let’s recap this thrilling home game, shall we!
The first period was incredible to watch. Lots of back and forth play, loads of scoring chances, and even a few highlight reel saves. But no goals were scored. Despite great chances on both ends, neither team could capitalize, and the goalies kept the game tied. It had the feel of a low-scoring affair heading into the intermission, but then…
BOOM! Brad Marchand opens the scoring just 5 minutes into the second…ON THE POWER PLAY! David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the hashmarks left a scrum of sticks and bodies in the crease, only for the puck to land on Brad Marchand’s stick, and he found the net.
That wouldn’t be the end of it either, as just over 4 minutes later, on a 5-on-3 power play, David Krejci finally buried his first goal of the campaign. With the 2-man advantage and all the momentum of the game on their side, the Bruins power play unit worked the puck across the ice to Krejci, who buried one under the shoulder of Lehner. Up 2-0, the B’s chose to keep attacking, and Riley Nash would score his first of the season before the period was up, to give Boston a 3-goal cushion heading into the 3rd. It was the first 3-goal lead for the hometown team since October 17th, when the Bruins walked into Winnipeg and won 4-1.
Halfway through the third period, the Bruins’ hot hand stayed hot, and David Pastrnak found himself scoring his 8th goal of the season. He now sits in a 4-way tie at the top of the league for most goals. In that company, are the likes of Sidney Crosby, Artem Anisimov, and rookie Patrick Laine. Not a bad group to bein, especially considering all except for Crosby have played more games than Pastrnak. Tuukka Rask made a few big saves late en route to his 32nd career shutout!
1. The Power Play –
You read that right, the power play gets an up! After a horribly slow start to the season, the power play looked sharp last night, scoring on 3 out of 8 chances. With goals from Krejci, Marchand, and Pastrnak, the power play’s weaponization was a key part of the win tonight!
2. Second Period –
Coming into last night’s game, the Bruins had a -5 goal differential in the second period. It was most certainly a stat that the team was none too pleased about. But last night, 3 of the 4 goals were scored in the second period. Two of which were on the aforemntioned power play. It was the first full-game effort of the year, and we walked away victorious. Let’s hope they can keep it up tonight against Montreal!
3. Third Line –
Still want Jimmy Hayes to be on that line? Consider this: With Hayes in the line-up, the Belskey-Nash-Hayes grouping combined for a total of…0 points. No goals. No assists. No value. But, in the 2 games he’s been out, Beleskey and Nash have combined for a goal and 2 assists! Benching Jimmy Hayes has been a blessing, and it has lifted the play of his linemates. Trade him.
1. Too Many Close Calls –
The Bruins defense was good for most of the game, but there were a few instances in which it looked as if Buffalo was getting ready to cash-in. Tuukka Rask had to make more than his fair share of big-time saves (which after his start to the year, even those look easy). Luckily for the defense, when they did screw up, Rask was right there to help them, and no goals were scored by the invading Sabres.
2. Tuukka Rask Started –
He’s good, and I like him, but Rask had no business starting last night’s game. We play Montreal tonight, and Zane McIntyre is good enough to handle a weak Buffalo offense. We should’ve saved Rask for tonight’s game, instead. Now, what if he plays tonight, also? I would hate it. I would not be happy. Unless he played well, of course. But going in, I’d be nervos that he’s burned out and hurt. After all, he has started the last 5 games for Boston. This is not close to the volume of starts the Bruins wanted at the beginning of the year.
3. Zdeno Chara –
Anybody else see Chara play like trash? Yeah, me too. He’s been doing it a lot this year. He’s turning the puck over with some boneheaded passing decisions, and he seems to have lost a step the last week or so. But hey, if we’re winning games with our “top defenseman” playing bad, is it actually a down? That’s the important question, not this whole charter school crap you’re voting on today in Massachusetts. It’s this question you should consider.
*I put it in last game, and I liked it, so I’m keeping it.
1. Torey Krug again led the B’s in ice time with 24:35 last night. Most of it was on the power play, but it still speaks volumes about his progress in the league.
2. Brandon Carlo continues to impress me. If we were to have a total rebuild after this year, my defensive core would be Krug and Carlo. He’s playing classic defense, getting in on plays, blocking shots, and taking away space. He’s really good. Don’t be surprised if he wins a Norris trophy in the next 5 years.
3. Tuukka Rask, with his 32nd shutout, passed Tim Thomas for 3rd most shutouts by a Bruins goaltender.
So we’ve arrived at my personal picks for the 3-stars of the game. Shouldn’t be much surprise, here, as I’m sure we can all pretty much agree on these 3 guys.
- 3. Riley Nash (C-BOS)
- 2. David Pastrnak (RW-BOS)
- 1. Tuukka Rask (G-BOS)
What did you think of the game last night? Did you expect a shutout? Who were your 3 stars? Let me know in the comments!