The B’s outshot the Predators 44- 29. Five Bruins had four or more shots on net, which included goal scorers Mike Reilly, Craig Smith and Taylor Hall.
Linus Ullmark made 26 saves for his six straight win.
Bruce Cassidy postgame described today’s match as a “playoff-style game” – and it was certainly that.
It was back-and forth and offensively-driven with the physicality on both sides ramping up as the game progressed.
The Bruins controlled the first period. The B’s defense provided cleaner rushes and play creation which carried over in particular to Patrice Bergeron’s and Erik Haula’s lines.
Smith gave the Bruins’ an early lead off the rush. His goal was followed by an all-around effort from Hall and Haula on the breakout to find Reilly crashing the net, putting a backhander past Juuse Saros.
On a side note -the puck seemed to find Reilly all game. He had an offensively-sound night where he became an asset, jumping into plays and pinching down low. Reilly had four shots on goal with some good looks each period.
The B’s were up 2-0 before the first’s midway point.
But the Predators bounced back at the end of the period with a goal from Colton Sissons.
Nashville made a push in the second period and those opportunities that started to come in the first’s final minutes carried over. They worked the neutral zone and the boards to their advantage.
The second period was dominated by a Preds’ offensive, as the Bruins had a hard time getting out of the defensive zone.
The Predators tied the game on a 5v5 long goal from Luke Kunin.
Special teams gave way to the Bruins’ go-ahead goal from Brad Marchand early in the third period which regained the Bruins’ momentum.
Just as fast as the Bruins gained the lead, the game was tied again on Roman Josi’s goal three minutes later.
But the B’s kept up with the game’s high tempo and increased their physicality with big hits that knocked the Predators off the puck.
The Bruins made a crucial penalty kill in the third period’s final minutes.
Sixty minutes were not enough for this one and the game headed to overtime where both teams had equal, quick chances to grab the extra point.
In overtime, Matt Duchene hit the post. Jake DeBrusk followed with his own attempt, before Hall’s second-chance effort ended the game for the Bruins. Final: 4-3 Bruins.
The Bruins return to home ice on Tuesday January 18 against the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:20 pm. Willie O’Ree will have his number retired in a pre-game ceremony.
Here are the goal highlights!
The Bruins opened the scoring at 3:20 of the first period.
Entering the offensive zone on a 3-on-2, Marchand fed a pass to Bergeron which he then backhanded over to Smith. From inside the right-wing circle, Smith fired a wrist shot top-shelf past Saros’ glove. 1-0 Bruins.
The Bruins extended their lead at 7:27 of the first period.
Off the rush, Haula found Reilly cutting across the front of the net where he held onto a backhander until reaching the far post to put one past Saros. 2-0 Bruins.
The Predators cut into their deficit at 14:30 of the first period.
Dante Fabbros stopped a Bruins’ defensive-zone clear along the boards to leave a pass for Sissons in the left face-off circle. Sissons skated to the slot and put a wrist shot past Ullmark’s blocker. 2-1 game.
The Predators tied the game at 7:32 of the second period.
Nick Cousins carried the puck into the offensive zone where he found Luke Kunin, who from the top of the right-wing circle, threw a long shot at Ullmark and over his blocker. 2-2 game.
Kunin with the equalizer! pic.twitter.com/lxKRLKML4Y— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) January 15, 2022
The Bruins regained the lead at 3:50 of the third period on the power play.
After sending a pass to Charlie McAvoy, Marchand had time to set up in the right-wing circle to receive the pass back where he sent a blast of a wrist shot top-shelf over Saros’ glove. 3-2 Bruins.
Nine straight 20-goal seasons for 63. pic.twitter.com/Hg2EhJJgBo— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 15, 2022
The Predators tied the game again at 6:26 of the third period.
Philip Tomasino handed off a pass to Josi who skated into the high slot and let a wrist shot fly over Ullmark’s glove. 3-3 game.
Hall netted the game-winner for the Bruins at 1:41 of the overtime period.
Hall picked up the rebound in the paint on Pastrnak’s shot for the winning goal. Final score: 4-3 Bruins.