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Bruins vs. Stars 3/23/18 RECAP: Pastrnak, Schaller and Rask save the day, B’s win 3-2

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The first 40 minutes of the game were kind of a spirit crusher. And then the third period happened.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This team, man.

The First Period:

The Stars lapped Boston completely.

Well, mostly.

Boston was absolutely not ready for what Dallas had in store for them. Their aggressive style completely overwhelmed the Bruins for long stretches, and it really didn’t take them long to give up a goal because of it. Namely to Esa Lindell, who took advantage of the 4th line not being able to clear the puck and laser’d it past Rask on a screen...created by his own players.

Life just isn’t fair for Finnish goaltenders. 1-0 Stars.

Thankfully, Boston got at least a couple shots on goal and decent chances on Lehtonen, but left the period down a goal.

Second Period:

Okay, so you wanna know the single most annoying thing in hockey? When after a lousy first period, you watch as your favorite team does much better than they did last, but still bringing some of the problems they had from the first, and get more of everything, but the opposing goalie is just playing too well.

And then they get the perfect opportunity to tie everything up nicely right as the period ends...

...and then everything goes straight to hell. Matt Grzelcyk couldn’t get an errant Brad Marchand pass, Jamie Benn practically flew into the offensive zone, and made a pretty tricky move to get the puck past Rask. 2-0 Stars.

Just...GAH.

The worst part is that after one, Boston really did make the most of their opportunities for the most part in this period, with plenty of fantastic chances. Lehtonen was just not letting anything happen.

Third Period:

NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER SURRENDER.

The first line early on got into their rhythm and worked real dang hard to get the puck with Dallas swarming them, and Pastrnak got a great shot off that deflected off of Marchand’s shin to cut the lead in half! 2-1 Stars.

Then! While things were looking good, the B’s got on their 4th penalty of the night, and while their kill was good...nobody could’ve expected just how good this one kill would be as Tim Schaller contributed an all-important short-handed goal to TIE THINGS UP BAYBEE. 2-2 tie!

It really is incredible how sneaky skilled Tim Schaller manages to be and nobody picks up on it until it’s way too late.

After that, it was a battle of Finnish goaltenders denying both sides left and right, making net-man scrambles look like nothing special, and keeping some primo chances from finding twine. Who could break this stalemate? Would we have to go to overtime? It certainly looked like it at first...

...But then Pastrnak fished the puck out of a pile of Stars, sent it to Marchand, who sent it back to him and David Pastrnak willed it past Kari Lehtonen to put the Bruins up 3-2 with 11 seconds left!

Bruins get the two points and oh my GOD this TEAM, guys.

Game Notes!:

  • Thank your lucky stars Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are Bruins.
  • Huge ups to the SKA line (Schaller, Kuraly, and Acciari), who for the first 40ish minutes of the game were basically the only line to get sustained attacking zone time that wasn’t the first line trying something or a power play. Double ups to Tim Schaller for a fantastic short-handed move!
  • Tommy Wingels and Jordan Szwarz had their minutes reduced significantly after the goal-against. Not surprising given how badly Dallas’ full-aggro version of hockey just overwhelmed them, but still, hope they can get at least something out of this as a learning experience.
  • Tuukka Rask had a season-high 42 shots dumped on him tonight and he only let two through that honestly could’ve been avoided had the Bruins not been harm’d or stricken with luck so bad it would make Eugene from Hey Arnold! blush. Just another day and another .950 SV% for Savonlinna’s finest.
  • Your TOI leader tonight was Nick Holden who did pretty darn well for himself tonight! Just a solid acquisition that’s made the most of his time here in Boston.
  • Adam McQuaid is either incredibly brave or unbearably stupid or both for turtling over the puck like he did, probably knowing he was going to be whacked with hockey sticks for however long he felt like doing that. Huge props for putting your body on the line like that, Quaider.
  • Bergeron has been cleared medically and will travel with the team to Minnesota! THEY’RE FINALLY GETTING KIND OF HEALTHY, GUYS!
  • This happened without Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk. THIS. TEAM.

Shot Map:

The next game is at 7:30 EST against Minnesota. See you there!