Looking for a rebound effort after losing to Montreal on Tuesday, the Bruins needed to come out with a solid effort from the drop of the puck. Capable? Yes. Confident? Well...
The B's looked like they had just been scored on by Montreal when this game started - no pace, no poise, no patience, already lost. A turnover in front of Zdeno Chara while he was flatfooted turned into an early goal by Nick Foligno just 2:29 into the game. If the tone was already flat on the ice, this popped a bubble at the Garden; this, followed by a penalty, and the period put an immediate pall over the game. (The stands being half-empty didn't help, but they filled in eventually.) It took the B's 6-7 minutes to get into this game, but once they did....
... the floodgates opened. Torey Krug dropped a bomb on Sergei Bobrovsky with 11 minutes to go in the period. Matt Beleskey followed it up with a quick strike about a minute later to put the Bruins in the lead, and this SHOULD have held up as the game-winning goal (more on that later). Riley Nash lays a backhand off-axis cross-crease saucer pass to Austin Czarnik for the third Bruins goal and the second of his career. 30 seconds later, Tim Schaller froze the defenseman in front of Bobrovsky by playing the puck through his feet and roofed a backhander for the fourth of the FIRST PERIOD. Bobrovsky didn't make it and Curtis McElhinney got called into the game.
(Highlight clip at end of this article. Too many GIFs to post.)
Bring on the second. ANYTHHINNNGS POSSIBBULLLLL
A less interesting period, but more hockey things happened. There appeared to be some sand in Adam McQuaid's mustache because he and Foligno had to be separated by the
lunch monitors linesmen during a TV timeout.
The first half of this period featured some back-and-forth play, without either team truly sustaining an attack for more than a few passes. Strangely, the Bruins' top line hasn't truly shown up yet in this game, though Marchand is having some fun deking between Columbus players in the offensive zone. David Backes benefited from a strong forecheck by David Krejci and Ryan Spooner, who locked up the defenseman so Krejci could dish it to an open Backes in the middle for a one-timer.
5-1 Bruins, after two.
Coach Claude Julien started the period with the Beleskey - Nash - Austin Czarnik line because
he was reading my tweets his top line still hadn't shown up yet. With just four shots through two periods from Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, he went with his most energetic line of the night - after all, Czarnik had been buzzing around the net and had a 100% shooting rate until this point. He nearly had a few more on a net-front scrum with four Jackets and three Bruins hacking away at the puck. However, the offensive energy had dissipated before too long, and Colin Miller suffered a brainfart and deked himself and his goaltender to score an own-net goal. The Bruins went into puck control mode after this and, with a late penalty to Beleskey, were pinned in their own zone for the last minute of regulation.
Here's the oops:
That’s a jimbo. pic.twitter.com/pfh9YRE5BM— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) November 11, 2016
The Bruins need to get off of this process of warming into a game. That said, they absolutely responded in the first, and save for Colin Miller's mishandle, had decent focus to wrap up the game.
Defense was awake tonight. Chara had a few times where the puck snuck by him leaving the attacking zone but his centers were on top of it - Riley Nash especially so.
David Backes looks reeeaaalllly slow from up high.
Full highlight reel: