Tuukka Rask did things! And so did Alex Stalock!
The Wild in the first 12-ish minutes of this game absolutely looked like a team on the end of a back-to-back, with almost nobody with skating legs, and in general demanding Stalock to keep things even for them.
Of course, with how chewed up Boston’s team was, one could expect that Tuukka Rask was also asked to clean up whenever the Wild got the upper-hand on a rush, and clean up he did, with gusto...even if he was kind of responsible for it.
Rask giveth, and Rask taketh away...from the Wild.
After 20, there was no score, and there were two teams very ready for something to go their way.
Boston would’ve scored early-ish into this period, but Alex Stalock sold contact from Nash as if he was shot from a cannon, and thus Noel Acciari was robbed of a goal.
Yeah...That’s fun. Whatever. Keep moving.
And move they did, as not too long afterwards, the first line practically carved Minnesota’s defense, forced a failed zone exit, and David Pastrnak got his 30th goal on a laser of a shot from a beautiful Patrice Bergeron pass. 1-0 Bruins!
So good to have Patrice back on the team.
And with that, Boston basically weathered whatever Minnesota threw at them while trading chances that could’ve sealed the game, mostly by sealing off the neutral zone to the home team and making them take risks to get the puck up ice. One opportunity got so close they had to review it, and Boston barely got away with what might’ve been a good goal.
The period ended with Boston ahead on the scoreboard and on the shot-totals! Fun times!
Minnesota tosses the puck over to the corner early in the third while taking advantage of tired bodies, and either Mat Dumba or Mikko Koivu get a stick in there or...something. Either way, Tuukka Rask who had been doing fantastic up to that point accidentally kicked the puck into his own net. Whoops. Tie Game.
And you were doing so well, too.
Boston surged immediately after, but nothing really came of it. Both sides sort of eased up on chances until the very final seconds of the game, where Minnesota’s late period rush was...ineffective, to say the least, and Boston would escape with at least a point going into overtime.
Boston immediately got the other point when 22 seconds into Overtime as Torey Krug doubled back into his own end and sprung Brad Marchand for a breakout off an indirect pass and we all know what happens these days when Brad Marchand is effectively unattended during an Overtime.
He’s like clockwork. Bruins win 2-1!
- Sitting at the top of the pile as your possession leaders for the night? Bruins first line, Bruins first pairing. And the results were right there with the eye test. They gouged the Wild for chances and opportunities, seemingly at will, and Minnesota could barely handle them.
- David Pastrnak had a team-high 5 shots on goal in a night where Boston could get at least one shot from almost every non-goalie player on the ice. A well deserved 30th goal after such an obnoxious call for a no-goal.
- And while all the Bruins pulled their weight for the most part, it was Tuukka Rask that absolutely saved their bacon throughout the entire game and especially towards the beginning and end of the game, with a .960 SV% and some absolutely brilliant saves that he made look as routine as anything else. Just fantastic stuff from Rask lately.
- First game in which Ryan Donato definitely looked somewhat mortal, especially when trying to keep possession of the puck around the boards. It’s one of those things experience teaches, so keep at it, youngster.
- While the Bruins defense as a whole did pretty well over 60 minutes, everyone had their moments of error tonight, which is fine. Some of these guys didn’t expect to be playing in the spots that they are and if that means they give up a crazy chance or get a dumb penalty that’s fine for right now. It’ll become a lot less forgiveable come the postseason but that’s still a few games away.
- What a silly freaking sell of the Riley Nash contact. Seriously. If this is what
- Funny what having your best in-general player and your best puck moving defender can do for you, huh? And they only get healthier from here. Next up, Winnipeg!
The next game is on Tuesday, and the puck drop is at 8pm EST. See you there!