The Bruins played as a cohesive unit to beat the Penguins, 4-1, on Thursday night and get back on track to playing their game.
“It was a reset on supporting one another on the ice,” Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said of the game. “I thought today was a good first step in getting back to who we are.”
The game looked like it was going to turn into the Sidney Crosby show real fast as he wasted no time putting the Penguins on the board 24 seconds into the game. Crosby skated down the left wing side into the face-off circle to put a wrist shot past Jaroslav Halak’s glove. Oof.
But the Bruins bounced back midway through the period to tie the game. Sean Kuraly skated up the left wing boards, threw a shot on net which looked like it bounced off Jack Johnson’s leg, and it ended up top-shelf over Tristan Jarry’s glove at 10:03 of the first. Karson Kuhlman assisted on the goal.
Kuhlman may not have many games under his belt this season, (in fact his last game was October 19), but he made his presence count. He was in the right place at the right time picking up a failed attempt by Teddy Blueger to clear the Penguins’ zone, which led to Par Lindholm deflecting Kuhlman’s shot, for a goal over Jarry’s glove at 12:16, extending the Bruins lead, 2-1.
Two assists already for @K_Kuhlman20.@parlindholm | #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/FDqMOuf2eT— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 17, 2020
The second period can be summed up as a lot of power plays, a lot of penalty kills by both teams and a showdown between Tory Krug and Patric Hornqvist. Brad Marchand also had a shorthanded breakaway and fanned in front of the net…things happen in threes (ahem that shootout nonsense) so he has one more fan in his system right?
Now on to Krug and Hornqvist. The two got into a scuffle near the benches at 16:05 of the second period and sent to the box for roughing. Once both matching penalties were over, literally 6 seconds later, the two had their go at each other in the Bruins’ defensive zone.
Torey Krug vs. Patric Hornqvist. pic.twitter.com/anVxWe69Rl— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 17, 2020
“They could have settled it in the box but clearly they wanted to finish it,” Cassidy said. “That to me is good old-fashioned hockey. Torey, being a smaller man, held his own, and I thought he won it. It’s good for the room.”
Krug and Hornqvist got five for fighting, leading to more 4-on-4 play which amounted to nothing for either team except a lot of over-passing by the Bruins.
Halak also kept the score tight in the second and came up huge at the end of the period, stopping a 2-on-1 situation, followed by a kick save a few moments later. The Bruins headed into the locker room up 2-1.
Patrice Bergeron made it a two-goal game for the Bruins at 3:19 of the third period. After receiving a pass from David Pastrnak, Bergeron let a wrist shot fly from the top of the right-wing circle, finding the top shelf over Jarry’s left shoulder.
.@pastrnak96 ➡️ Bergy— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 17, 2020
Patrice Bergeron's 20th of the season off a slick feed from David Pastrnak is tonight's @JagermeisterUSA Shot of the Game.#NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/6xqWlw8d0k
Marchand added the insurance goal with an empty-netter off a pass from David Pastrnak with 52.6 seconds left in the third period.
The Bruins came to play, and it definitely showed.