Talking Points: Kuraly earns gold star for heroics
It was pretty obviously Sean Kuraly, even if the Ottawa Senators PA announcer messed up the number and said Frank Vatrano was the No. 1 Star after Kuraly had scored his second of two goals to win Game 5 in double-overtime for the Boston Bruins. Kuraly actually looked like he had the game-winner in the first OT when he crashed the net and pushed a puck past Craig Anderson, but it was ruled no-goal because of a shaky goaltender interference call. But Kuraly was undeterred and instead shoveled a backhand rebound past Anderson midway through double-overtime after the Ottawa goalie had kicked out a Charlie McAvoy point shot. Kuraly finished with six shots on net and three hits in 18:03 of ice time along with his first two NHL goals and a plus-2 rating after replacing Ryan Spooner in the Boston lineup on Friday night.
Chris Wideman played just 11:19 of ice time in a double-overtime playoff game, which lets you know exactly how he was playing while racking up a minus-2 rating in a 3-2 hockey game. Wideman threw a questionable knee-on-knee hit on David Krejci during the first period that he wasn’t penalized for, and then the Bruins targeted him for abuse in the latter periods of regulation. Sean Kuraly smacked him with a big hit behind the Ottawa net that jarred a puck loose, and then later in the shift Kuraly bounced a shot off Wideman’s skate that beat Anderson for the game-tying score in the second period. Wideman didn’t play at all in the first overtime session, but Guy Boucher finally had to go back to him a bit in double-overtime.
Clearly it was the first overtime when Sean Kuraly had a goal wiped off the board because of a questionable goalie interference ruling, and then David Backes had a potential goal taken away when the refs allowed Jean-Gabriel Pageau to pounce on a puck in the crease. At the very least the Bruins should have had a penalty shot for Pageau’s actions before passing the puck to Craig Anderson for the whistle, but instead the Bruins got exactly nothing for their efforts in the first overtime session. Instead they went right back to work, settled things down in double-overtime and eventually won on the Sean Kuraly play after big time saves had been made at both ends of the ice. It turned out to be a pretty exciting hockey game after regulation wasn’t all that entertaining.
David Backes played a sneaky excellent game for the Bruins with a couple of assists including a tip on the Charlie McAvoy point shot that set up the rebound for Sean Kuraly to knock home for the game-winner. Backes was switched midway through the game to a line with Kuraly and Frank Vatrano, and the 32-year-old did a good job of taking the two young forwards under his wing in a big time playoff game. It also looked like Backes had a game-winner in overtime that Jean-Gabriel Pageau hopped on for a whistle that should have been a penalty shot for the Bruins, but that just set up the inevitable game-winner for the Black and Gold. Backes finished with a shot on net and five hits in 22:51 of ice time along with a 5-for-5 in the face-off dot, and a game that showed exactly why his signing was important for this team last summer.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 – the number of shot attempts for David Pastrnak after he’d been held to just two shots on net in the first four games of this series, and the 20-year-old also had the B’s first goal in the second period as well.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"However many they call back in overtime, we were gonna keep going to those areas until there's a good one that stands.” – David Backes, on the B’s mentality after two controversial calls in overtime wiped out potential game-winners before they eventually took control in double-overtime.