It wasn’t the prettiest of wins tonight, as the Bruins’ game got away from them in spots. But two points are two points as the team now heads into the All-Star Break. And after this past weekend’s excruciating road-trip conclusion, they’ll take it.
Special teams were the difference makers tonight. Not only did the power play net the opener and game-winner, but the penalty kill also held off the Kraken six times during the 60 minutes.
The Bruins had a decent first period, but it wasn’t their best hockey.
The Bruins were outshot 9-7 by the Kraken in the first frame. Four of their seven shots came from Patrice Bergeron’s line which generated the most chances during the period.
The Bruins’ defense had a solid offensive period. Urho Vaakanainen and Charlie McAvoy added to the the top line’s offensive by pinching down and jumping into the plays. Although their shots were off-net, they kept the puck in the offensive zone and generated chances for Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Craig Smith to build upon.
Linus Ullmark also did his part to stave off the Kraken’s power play early on, as Ryan Donato challenged him with out-front attempts.
Despite the top line’s effort and the Kraken’s offense pressing Ullmark, the game was scoreless after the first period.
The Kraken controlled the tempo of the opening minutes of the second period, putting a quick three shots on net.
But the game’s momentum changed after Urho Vaakanainen sustained a heavy hit by Yanni Gourde along the end boards. The penalty was originally deemed a five-minute major and then changed to a minor.
It didn’t take long for the physicality to ramp up after that as the Bruins responded to the hit. Curtis Lazar dropped the gloves with Gourde after his penalty expired and Derek Forbort took on Jeremy Lauzon at the same time.
As the game heated up, so did the work of the Bruins’ special teams and the B’s capitalized on the power play to take the lead.
The Bruins opened the scoring at 9:06 of the second period on the power play.
Taylor Hall hit Pastrnak with a pass inside the left-wing circle where he let a one-timer fly over Chris Driedger’s blocker. 1-0 Bruins.
But just as fast as the Bruins found themselves up, two calls put them on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. Again Ullmark made some crucial saves and the Bruins managed to make enough clears to kill time.
From there on out, it was the work of the B’s second line to sustain the lead.
The Bruins extended their lead at 16:09 of the second period.
Tomas Nosek won the loose puck along the end boards to Hall. Cale Fleury got a piece of it to redirect the puck towards the slot where Riley Sheahan failed to clear and Hall picked up the puck for a wrister over Driedger’s stick. 2-0 Bruins.
After two, the Bruins were up 2-0 and evened the shot count at 18-18.
It didn’t take long, however, for the game to take a turn.
The Kraken cut into their deficit 42 seconds in the third period.
After some defensive puck mismanagement, Joonas Donskoi picked up the loose puck from Brandon Carlo’s attempt to break up the previous play, for a quick wrist shot from the high slot over Ullmark’s glove. 2-1 game.
he shoots - he DONSCORES!!!!— Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) February 2, 2022
donny gets his first (official) one of the season and we are STOKED pic.twitter.com/AdnqtgheXH
The game got away from the Bruins after that goal. Guys were left alone out front. Thankfully Ullmark was able to make the saves.
But the B’s lost the reigns and yet again, loosened their defensive play. They were sloppy in the slot and clearing Kraken players out of the paint.
The Kraken tied the game at 7:30 of the third period.
From the point, Adam Larsson threw a shot at net which Mason Appleton got a piece of out front before it then bounced off Charlie McAvoy and past Ullmark. 2-2 game.
Bruce Cassidy called a time-out to refocus the team, as the Bruins were dealing with defensive-zone breakdowns and mishandling pucks in dangerous areas.
The B’s battled back and showed resilience to close out the third period. They capitalized on their third power play of the night to shift energy back.
The Bruins regained the lead at 10:49 with Pastrnak’s second power-play goal of the night.
Brad Marchand hit Pastrnak with a pass inside the left-wing circle for a one-timer past Driedger’s glove. Final score: 3-2 Bruins.
The Bruins are off now until after the All-Star Break and will return to home ice on February 8 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 pm.