Talking Points from the Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Red Wings…
GOLD STAR: Torey Krug finished with a goal and three points, a plus-1 rating and ended a 54-game goal-scoring drought with his power play strike in the second period. The Krug goal effectively cinched this game for the Black and Gold, and gave them the necessary cushion once Detroit managed to eventually get on the scoreboard. Krug’s assist on the Brad Marchand goal in the first period was also a huge key, and was part of a high quality 20:14 of ice time that the puck-moving defenseman put together. Krug has been solid most of the year for the B’s, but on Thursday night he elevated his play to a higher plane in a game that Boston had to have.
BLACK EYE: Normally a huge factor in these kinds of games, Justin Abdelkader didn’t seem to have a lot in the tank against the Bruins. He finished with a minus-2 rating, had a completely empty score sheet aside from one hit in 15:05 of ice time and wasn’t a factor around the front of the Boston net during offensive possessions. This kind of performance lends to the idea that the Red Wings didn’t have their skating legs for much of the second half of this game, and that the Bruins did a nice job of building a quick lead early that closed the walls in around Detroit.
TURNING POINT: For the Bruins, it was the first two goals of the game in the first three minutes of the game. David Pastrnak got behind the Detroit defense to score the first one, and then Brad Marchand followed with his 37th of the season little more than a minute later to get the Bruins off and running. That allowed the Bruins to withstand some of the pushes that the Red Wings threw at them earlier in the game, and build on the lead in the second period when Torey Krug sizzled a short side blast past Jimmy Howard to make it a three-goal lead. For a rested Bruins team playing against a weary Red Wings bunch, it was exactly the proper recipe for victory.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand finished with a goal, two points and a plus-1 rating, and really played with the fire and energy you’d expect from one of the best players on the Bruins roster in a “must have” kind of game. Marchand finished with four shots on net, five shot attempts, two hits and a blocked shot in his 16:47 of ice time, scored the second goal of the day for the Bruins as they made a big push early in the game, and then nearly fell down he was so pumped to celebrate after the dynamic start for his team. On a day when the B’s needed their best players to step up Marchand obliged in a big way.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – The number of 30 goal-scorers for the Bruins after Loui Eriksson reached the 30-goal mark with his score at the start of the third period. He joined Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, and became the first Bruins team with three 30-goal scorers since the 2002-03 B’s edition with Joe Thornton, Glenn Murray and Mike Knuble.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s important that we kind of bottle up that and bring the same kind of game here on Saturday. We want to give ourselves a chance. We’ve got to rely on some breaks here or there. We have to be focused and kind of bring that same kind of game to give ourselves the best chance possible.” –Claude Julien, on what the Bruins need to do after Thursday’s win to better their playoff chances.