Bruins fall to Hurricanes in shootout, 2-1


Bruins fall to Hurricanes in shootout, 2-1

BOSTON – The Bruins went into the start of this three-game homestand knowing they needed wins in all three games to punch their playoff ticket, and they couldn’t make it happen.

Massachusetts boy and Boston College standout Noah Hanifin flipped a backhand under the bar in the sixth round of the shootout, and gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Black and Gold at TD Garden. The Bruins moved into a tie with the Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division with 91 points, but Detroit has a game in hand and a chance to really gain some separation when they face the Flyers on Wednesday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes got on the board first at the end of the opening 20 minutes on a goal that Tuukka Rask would definitely like to have back. Jaccob Slavin threw a wobbling shot from the right point that fluttered through a screen provided by John-Michael Liles and Brad Malone, and Rask was late to react to the shot on his glove hand.

That was the only goal in the grinding game until the third period when the Black and Gold finally caught a break. Loui Eriksson jumped out of the box at the end of a penalty served for tripping, and Carolina was getting off the ice for a line change just as the puck was floated to the Hurricanes bench. Eriksson sped in with the puck as the Canes players stayed on the bench to prevent the too many men on the ice call, and reached a forearm bid around Cam Ward to things up for the Bruins.

It was Eriksson’s 29th goal of the season, and continues some pretty solid play from the Swedish winger as the Bruins entered the big game portion of their schedule.

Things almost ended badly for the Bruins in the regulation as Brett Pesce fired a shot as a trailer that trickled through Tuukka Rask’s leg pads, but Zdeno Chara was able to flick it away before Elias Lindholm could pounce on the puck.

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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