2/9 Bruins 5 – Kings 4 (OT)
On a day all about Patrice Bergeron, it was Bergeron himself who would lead the Bruins to the overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings. Before we get to the game let’s start with the pregame ceremony in which Bergy was given his ‘silver stick’ for playing in 1,000 career NHL games. The cool part about the entire ceremony to me, was that the Kings elected to stay on their bench to watch the ceremony rather than going back to the locker room where they could stay loose better than sitting on the bench. However, the Kings as well as most if not all NHL teams, have tremendous respect for Patrice Bergeron. He continues to be one of the most respected guys in the NHL, so respected that the Kings even bought Bergy a $1,000 bottle of wine. Every team will chip in and get something for a guy on their own team who reaches the milestone, but I don’t know if I’ve heard of an opposing team getting a gift for someone. Whether or not it happens, Patrice Bergeron is well deserving of the nice gift from the Kings.
On to the game.
After a fast moving first period in which no goals were scored, the Bruins had many opportunities to score, but just couldn’t beat the Hamden, Connecticut product, Jonathan Quick. This would change in the second period with just over four minutes played as Patrice Bergeron would find Charlie McAvoy with a beautiful no look pass for the 1-0 lead. With just over nine minutes played in the period the Kings would go on the power play and subsequently tie the game at 1. They would then take the lead with six minutes to play in the second period with the Bruins now chasing a lead after a wild 2nd period.
Early on in the third period, Danton Heinen would score to tie the game at two when he was able to get the rebound of a Jonathan Quick save and beat him with the quick wrist shot. This goal really sparked Heinen’s play resulting in a very strong week and he even got moved up to the first line.
Less than two minutes after they tied the game, David Krejci would give the Bruins a 3-2 lead when a Torey Krug shot would ring the post and find its way to the stick of Krejci who had a virtually wide open net. The Bruins would then increase their lead as Brad Marchand would score a shorthanded goal the 24th of his career as Patrice Bergeron got his second assist on the night.
The Bruins would go on to blow yet another lead in this game, this time being a two goal lead as the Kings would tie the game with just under five minutes to play in regulation. In overtime, two of the best goalies in the league squared off as both had to make huge saves. The Bruins got a break as they were able to draw a penalty and earn a power play in which it was the man of the night, Patrice Bergeron who would win it for the B’s with a snipe from the right circle past Quick.
2/10 Bruins 2 – Avalanche 1 (OT)
For the third game in a row the Bruins found themselves playing in an overtime game. Out of those three the Bruins would win two of them as they lost to the Rangers last week. In this game, it was the Bruins that would have to make the comeback as the Avalanche would jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first period when they scored with just over 30 seconds left in the period.
In the second period the B’s would tie the game with a goal from John Moore who has really struggled to stay in the lineup. With the injury to Matt Grzelcyk, Moore has been slotted back into the lineup and is really working hard for a chance to be a mainstay in the lineup once again.
As I stated earlier, the game would eventually go to overtime for the third game in a row and on back to back nights. If I gave you three guesses as to who scored the overtime winner I would imagine those guesses would be Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, or David Pastrnak. I’d tell you that you were right. Brad Marchand scored the overtime winner extending his franchise record for most overtime goals.
2/12 Bruins 6 – Blackhawks 3
Before the game the Bruins got some bad news on the injury front. David Pastrnak was at a sponsorship dinner on Sunday night where he fell and injured his thumb. He had to have a small procedure done and is only expected to be out at least two weeks. While it could be more time that he misses, he is expected back this season before the postseason. While this is horrible for a team that finally got healthy and has played well lately, it is a good opportunity to call up a forward from Providence and see how well they will fit with the B’s as we head toward the playoffs. The trade deadline is also coming up at the end of February and maybe this is what will push the Bruins over the edge where they try to trade for hot commodity Artemi Panarin.
While the Bruins were short David Pastrnak in this game, the Bruins may have played their best game of the season. Yes, they were playing the Blackhawks who find themselves in last place in the Central Division, however the Blackhawks had won 7 of their last 10. Right away it looked like the Bruins were going to have a rough game as they allowed a goal not even five minutes into the game. Well, the Bruins woke up after that goal as they would counter with three unanswered goals and take a 3-1 lead into the dressing room after one period. Oh and I should mention that the Bruins scored all three of these goal inside the final 5 minutes and 20 seconds of the period. David Krejci got the first goal on the power play from Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk.
Thirty-seven seconds after Krejci tied the game, Danton Heinen scored to take the lead. With about one minute left Patrice Bergeron would get a shot on net that would fall to the stick of Danton Heinen who really had no angle to shot and smartly slid the puck over to Brad Marchand who had the whole net to shoot on.
In the second period, the Bruins would extend their lead to 4-1 as Jake DeBrusk would score on a tip in goal with just under two minutes to play. The Blackhawks would score a goal of their own before the period was over, but it really made no difference in this game. As the third period got underway, the Blackhawks would score again to make it a one goal game but it really never felt that it was that close at the time. Shortly after the goal the Bruins would increase their lead back to two goals on some of the nicest passing that I have seen. The goal came on the power play and Peter Cehlarik scored it but the passes came from Danton Heinen and Torey Krug. David Krejci would score an empty net goal for his second of the game and essentially sealing the win for the Bruins.
This game was absolutely one of the best games this team has played this season, but more so it is by far the best game that Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk played as they both would get 3 points on the night. With David Pastrnak on the shelf, it is very important for this team to have scorers and someone that can fill his spot on the first line. After this game, it really could be either Heinen or DeBrusk that fills that spot and I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes a few times until Bruce Cassidy is comfortable with his decision. Until Pasta is back in the lineup expect to see some new faces as well as guys that have struggled and were sent down. The rumors I have heard are that it could be Ryan Donato getting called back up. I have also heard that they may take a look at veteran Lee Stempniak who was with the Bruins in the preseason but was cut by the team. Best case scenario is Pastrnak is back in two weeks, but they have to prepare for the worst and that is exactly what they will do.
The Week Ahead
The Bruins will have four games in this coming week as they head out on the road for a west coast trip. It kicks off on Friday as the Bruins head to Anaheim to take on the struggling Ducks at 10pm. The very next day they will be back in action against the Los Angeles Kings once again, this game starting at 1030pm. After a day off to travel up the California coast, the Bruins will take on the San Jose Sharks on Monday night 10pm. Lastly they will finish the week on Wednesday night in Las Vegas taking on the Golden Knights, and I’m sure that if it’s a good week for the Bruins Vegas will be a lot of fun as they have a few days off after the game.
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