Bruins goalie prospect McIntyre struggles in crucial spot


Bruins goalie prospect McIntyre struggles in crucial spot

Talking Points from the P-Bruins’ loss in the playoffs…

GOLD STAR: Jake Guentzel finished with two goals, four points and a plus-2 rating for Wilkes-Barre Scranton, and both opened up and closed the scoring parade for the Penguins in the marathon playoff hockey game. Guentzel scored on a rebound just 35 seconds into the first period, and then snapped a wrist shot past Jeremy Smith with just a few minutes remaining in double overtime after a stumbling P-Bruins D-man opened things up on the play for an offensive chance for the Penguins. Guentzel also helped supply some juice to the Penguins power play with shots from the point in an impressive offensive performance during an AHL playoff elimination game that really wasn’t made easy for either team.

BLACK EYE: The Providence Bruins coaching staff gave young goaltender Zane McIntyre a chance to perform in a pressure spot between the pipes in Game 3, and the rookie netminder did not perform well in the big spot. Instead, McIntyre was bounced after the second period following four goals allowed on 13 shots, and a really soft goal allowed from long distance in the second period that gave Scranton a 4-1 lead. It was a killer at the time as Providence had closed it to a two-goal lead and had all of the momentum until McIntyre couldn’t make the stop on a shot from the high point area. Combine that with the rebound goal allowed just seconds into the first period, and it wasn’t a good night for Providence goaltenders until Jeremy Smith stepped in for McIntyre.

TURNING POINT: The P-Bruins outshot the Penguins by a 20-6 margin in the third period, and scored three unanswered goals to tie things up while forcing overtime. It didn’t allow the Bruins to win the game or prolong a series sweep by Wilkes-Barre Scranton, but it gave them a chance to win in both the overtime and double-overtime session. Frank Vatrano alone had a handful of scoring chances in the final 20 minutes of regulation to help close things out as Austin Czarnik tied things up in the third period with just four minutes to go in regulation. But the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on any additional offensive chances above and beyond the three goals scored in the second, and simply couldn’t do enough to overcome such a huge deficit to start the game after spotting three goals to the AHL Penguins club.

HONORABLE MENTION: Austin Czarnik finished with two goals, three points, a plus-1 rating and five shots on net while serving as Providence’s best player from beginning to end. Czarnik scored one big goal to open up things offensively for the P-Bruins in the second period when just about everybody else was struggling, and then he scorched one from the high slot later in the third period to things up. While it was a heartbreaking loss for the entire team, it was a confidence booster for Czarnik going into an offseason where he’ll be expected to compete for a job in Boston next season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the whopping number of shots on net for Frank Vatrano in the loss with the Bruins winger somehow failing to crack the score sheet being a goal-per-game performer for the P-Bruins through most of the season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Most of the talking was done after the first period. You’re just trying to get the guys going, and get the guys that we really rely on to get going. I’m not sure they were really invested early on, but then they got going.” –Providence coach Bruce Cassidy, on the mentality change in the middle of the game that improved things for the Bruins.

Bruins make a statement with 3-0 win over Lightning

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Bruins make a statement with 3-0 win over Lightning

TAMPA – The undermanned Bruins went into Saturday’s big showdown with Tampa Bay missing four of their best players, and they lost another in the game when David Backes exited after catching a skate blade above the right knee. 

MORE - A scary incident involving Backes

But as adversity hasn’t stopped the Bruins all season long, it didn’t stop them against on Saturday against the best team in the NHL. Instead it inspired them as the Bruins scored a pair of goals early and rode that fast start all the way to an impressive 3-0 victory over the Lightning at Amalie Arena. The victory closes the Bruins to within two points of the Lightning for the NHL’s top spot with two more meetings with Tampa over the season’s final dozen games. 

The Bruins scored little more than three minutes into the game when Torey Krug fed David Pastrnak cutting down the middle of the slot, and Pastrnak slid a backhanded bid underneath Andrei Vasilevskiy for his 29th goal of the season. Backes got on the board next prior to his exit from the game, and hammered a loose puck in the slot after Krug had missed wide with a point blast that rocketed off the end boards. 

Krug was at it making plays again in the second period when he fired a shot from the outside of the face-off circle that Vasilevskiy kicked into the slot area where Riley Nash corralled. Nash put it home for his 14th goal of the season, and that was enough for the Bruins to hold on for victory as the Lightning threw everything at the net in the third period looking for some offense. 

Rask was solid at that point in the game as he stopped everything in front of him and made 22 saves to add to his gaudy lifetime record against Tampa Bay over the course of his B’s career. There was no update on Backes following the game other than his laceration required “several stitches” and that he was done for the night after the incident late in the first period.


Backes cut by errant skate blade in scary incident during Tampa game

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Backes cut by errant skate blade in scary incident during Tampa game

TAMPA – It’s always scary when errant skate blades injure players on the ice, and that appeared to be the case in Tampa Bay on Saturday night as David Backes rushed off the ice after a scrum in the Lightning end. 

It appeared that Yanni Gourde’s skate blade cut Backes in the right thigh area after he went down to his knees while heading toward the Tampa net, and the Bruins power forward immediately skated off the ice while putting no weight on his right leg. It wasn’t immediately known whether Backes would return to the game or not for a Bruins team that was already missing Patrice Bergeron, Jake DeBrusk, Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy from the lineup with injuries. 

Backes had been moved up to the Bruins top line for Saturday night’s big game against the Lightning as a result of those injuries, and scored one of Boston’s two first period goals in taking an early lead against the Atlantic Division-leading Bolts. We’ll have more updates as they come in on Backes from Tampa Bay after that scary incident in the final minute of the first period.