BOSTON – It was going to take a different mindset to end the Bruins stretch of futility, and get them back in the winning direction after a season-worst losing streak.
Bruins coach Claude Julien made some minor tweaks re-inserting Jimmy Hayes back into the lineup on the fourth line, and bringing both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller back into the fold from injury problems. But the bigger change was getting the kind of desperate, determined effort from the Bruins that had been missing far too often this season, and riding it to a 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden.
- Highlights: Boston Bruins 4, Detroit Red Wings 3 (OT)
- Pastrnak snaps goal-scoring slump with overtime winner
- Talking Points: Marchand scores key goal to send game to overtime
- Bruins snap four game losing streak with 4-3 overtime win over Red Wings
It was an impressive show of resiliency for the Bruins after they blew their early lead in the second period, and watched Tuukka Rask give up a soft goal for the Tomas Tatar go-ahead score toward the end of the middle 20 minutes. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves or curling up into the hockey version of the fetal position like they did against Pittsburgh, the Bruins dusted themselves off and tied things up in the third before taking the two points in overtime.
Claude Julien said afterward that the Bruins basically refused to lose, and instead showed a desire to win up and down the entire lineup.
“There was no way that we were going to let anybody drag us down tonight. If certain guys wouldn’t have done the job, they would have been watching,” said Julien. “I think we were going to go with the guys that want to play and show what they had to do. And the guys – to a man – were out there and working hard. I think once in a while, when you get tired of losing, you do something about it. And I think tonight our guys had that determination.”
Clearly there were some standouts with Brad Marchand scoring a pair of goals including the game-tying strike in the third period on a second-effort score, and with David Pastrnak ripping a perfect one-timer past Jared Coreau for the overtime game-winner. But it was as much about those two as it was about Hayes screening the Wings goalie on Kevan Miller’s first period goal, or Ryan Spooner stepping up and paying the price in front of the net just like everybody else.
The Bruins seem to understand now they’re in a dog fight for a playoff spot, and it’s exactly the kind of tireless effort they’ll need to produce the majority of nights for the rest of the season given their situation.
“There are some games where pucks bounce our way and we are able to score goals easier, but there are not easy games. We can’t expect that from here on out,” said Brad Marchand. “You know we got to win games, and we have to expect to come to work every night and lay it all on the line and be exhausted by the end of it. Then you get back to work the next day.
“You know with that, and with the group we have in here, I think we are all willing to do that and hopefully continue to play good hockey.”
The Bruins pushed back into the playoff picture at least temporarily with the overtime win against Detroit on Tuesday night, but the trick now will be building on it rather than the inevitable slide back everybody has seen all too often from Boston this season.