2/3 Bruins 1 – Capitals 0
It was a big day in Boston, a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the Bruins leading off the day playing, followed by the Celtics getting a win, and then apparently there was some Big Game on Sunday night?? Oh yeah, that’s right, the Patriots won the Super Bowl for the 2 nd time in the last 3 years and their 6 th title in the Belichick-Brady era of Patriots. Alright enough about how great the city of Boston is, let’s get down to some hockey.
For the first time since March of 2014, the Boston Bruins have defeated the Washington Capitals. And what a win it was. Tuukka Rask absolutely spun on his head in this game earning the shutout for his 2 nd of the season. Most importantly, with the win, Tuukka Rask has now become the Boston Bruins all-time winningest goalie with his 253 rd career win with the B’s. I know Tuukkaisn’t liked by all Bruins fans for some reason, but what he has accomplished is incredible. The Bruins are one of the oldest teams in hockey, and I don’t know how many people would have guessed that someone in today’s game would achieve that record, but Tuukka is just the guy to do it. Love him or hate him, he leaves it all out on the ice and has been incredible for this Bruins team in his career.
Tuukka had I would say, his best game of the season in this game, obviously earning the shutout, but on the times where the defense made a mistake, which came few and far between, Tuukka stood tall and made the stops. While he and the defense played well neutralizing the heavy attack of the Washington Capitals, it was the Bruins who got the only goal on the night. David Krejci scored the goal coming off assists from Torey Krug and David Pastrnak.
This was an important win for the Bruins as they finally snap a 14 game losing streak to the Capitals and no better time as the season is in the third period and this has the potential to be a playoff matchup. If that’s the case, the Bruins have a little bit of momentum against the Caps, not that momentum against a single opponent means anything in the playoffs. It is nice to know that you can beat your opponent though and it will undoubtedly give them some confidence if the situation arises.
2/5 Bruins 3 – Islanders 1
History continued to be made as the Bruins looked to take down the New York Islanders on the night of Patrice Bergeron’s 1,000th career game, all with the Bruins. Bergy has become only the 5 th Bruin in franchise history to play 1,000 career games with the Bruins. What made the night even sweeter is that Bergy continued to do what he has all season and that’s get in the scoresheet. In fact he had two goals in this game.
Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring in this game as Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak went down the ice on a 2-on-1 but the Islanders goalie, Robin Lehner, narrowly made the save, but left the puck in the crease with a fairly wide open net. Bergy was able to knock the puck into the net and give the Bruins the lead.
The Islanders would eventually tie the game at one with fewer than five minutes to play in the second period. In the third period it was the Islanders who would get on the board again…or so they thought. The Bruins would challenge the goal for the play being offside, and it was determined that they were offside when they made zone entry so the goal was wiped away. Peter Cehlarik would score the eventual game winner as the Bruins took a 2-1 lead midway through the third period. However, the highlight of the night was when the Islanders emptied their goal for the extra attacker, and David Pastrnak found himself alone with the empty net. He would leave the puck right in front of the goal so a trailing Patrice Bergeron could bury it into the empty net for his 2 nd goal of the game on a night all about him. It was a bittersweet moment for Bergy and what a tremendous display of respect and admiration by Pasta to leave the puck for Bergy.
With a historic first few games to the week, who knows what the Bruins will do in their next game.
2-6 Bruins 3 – Rangers 4 (SO)
It was a perfect night for a rivalry game and this one lived up to expectations all the way. If you like old school style hockey with hard hitting, and great overall play, then this was the game for you, as it is most times when these two teams matchup. The scoring was even back and forth as both teams had to fight back from deficits, for it ultimately to be decided in a shootout, which I will get into in a bit.
First it was the Rangers who would take the lead as they got on the board within the final three minutes of the first period. The second period would be the complete opposite as the Bruins would turn things around and score three unanswered goals and hold the lead into the third period. With the Rangers chasing two goals, they were able to tie the game and force overtime where it was a stalemate, in a high paced, offensive onslaught by both teams. When it got to the shootout, the Rangers were able to beat Jaro Halak twice and take the game, but Halak was great. Although he looked lost in the net trying to find his positioning for most of the shootout, he was able to stop a few shots along the way.
While the Bruins lost this game, it was a strong effort and a well-earned one point. Although they got a point, it really should have been two. This game really shouldn’t have gone to overtime as the Bruins lost a two goal lead. They need to hold that lead, they’ve struggled lately with holding leads. As we get closer to the playoffs, you need to win all the games that you can, and dropping two goal leads in the third period is not going to get the job done.
The three Bruins goals in this one, came from three different players which is always good to see as Danton Heinen scored to end his drought. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak stayed hot as they scored the other two goals for the Bruins. Brad Marchand had a multi-point night as he chipped in two assists.
The Week Ahead
This coming week, the Bruins will be on a three game home stand as they host the Los Angeles Kings, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Chicago Blackhawks. It starts on Saturday at 1pm in a matinee game. Colorado will be in town on Sunday in an afternoon start of 3pm. They will wrap up the week on Tuesday as Chicago is in town.
Videos courtesy of NHL.com