clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RECAP: Win in Carolina shows Bruins can win in surprising ways

New, comments

Five goals in the final ten minutes, after a below-mediocre first fifty, is not what anyone was expecting out of this game.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Carolina Hurricanes
Fortunately, there was cause for celebration at the end of last night’s game.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If you turned off last night’s game after the first period, you’d be forgiven.

If you turned it off after the second period, you may have been hailed a genius for pulling the plug and getting out to shovel.

If you threw a tomahawk into your TV after the first eight minutes of the third, the TV would have accepted its fate as necessary.

Two minutes later, however, if you had turned off or destroyed your TV, you wouldn’t have been able to see the biggest comeback of the season, perhaps the biggest since eliminating Toronto in 2013. (Yes, we know that the Toronto game had WAY more importance, given it was a Game 7.)

I’ll just put this chart here, courtesy of hockeystats.ca:

Thanks to hockeystats for these resources!

The blue line is Boston; black line is Carolina. Each time the line ticks upward, it’s a shot attempt, and a good measure of how a team is controlling a game. The first period looks much more even than it should have been, but may have been restrained a bit by how many penalties were called - players were a bit tentative, and on the power play, Carolina would take the time to set up a shot, generally taking fewer of them.

The second period, well... it shows why Carolina was able to tack on two more in the latter half of the middle frame. Strong play early built a rhythm for the Hurricanes and the Bruins struggled to match it, often missing exit passes and generally failing to control the puck in the offensive zone. After allowing a short-handed goal, a charge at the beginning of the third period - that near-vertical stepladder you see just after the end of the second period - was negated by the plateau that followed, and it was at that point that this author started going through the motions to report on a loss.

BIG.

MISTAKE.

As it’s happened more often this season, the efforts by the fourth line centered by Sean Kuraly and flanked by Tim Schaller and Noel Acciari are not just merely noticed. They’re obvious. After an entire night of watching the Bruins fail to chip it even just past their own blue line, we saw this line will the puck to the attacking blue line, where Matt Grzelcyk picked it up and rifled home the shot heard ‘round the rink. Both Carolinas were on notice.

In under two minutes, following a David Pastrnak snipe (that barely registered with anyone in the arena, much less a referee) and a Danton Heinen one-timer on an excellent play by David Krejci to bat the puck forward out of midair and then hunt it down, everyone sat upright in their seats. Once the Bruins had tasted blood, the sharks took over, and none hungrier than Pastrnak could tally the go-ahead and empty-net goals to take the lead and seal the win.

Other notable achievements:

  • The Original (R) Riley Nash had two assists on the night, his eighth multi-point game of the season. As Colin pointed out on Twitter, The Original (R) is one point shy of matching his season point total... for the last two seasons combined.
  • Matt Grzelcyk notched a goal and an assist on the night, getting a secondary helper on Pastrnak’s PPG. Kid still looks pretty solid and plays at the right pace.
  • Rick Nash tallied another assist, though registered no shots on goal. No word yet on attempted shots.
  • Many of us stuck out this game, despite being behind on your winterly chores. Good for you. The Bruins appreciate your fandom.

Moving on along, the road trip continues with a visit to the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, home to the Florida Panthers. Let’s try not to spot them a three-goal lead this time, shall we?

To watch all of the scoring highlights from last night’s game, head here.