Talking Points: At last, a win from B's backup
Anton Khudobin said the “monkey was off his back” following the game after making 29 saves and playing well enough for the Bruins to win, which is exactly what is being asked of him as the backup netminder. Sure he allowed an Alex Burrows shot to seep through his equipment with 0.6 seconds remaining in the second period, and he still allowed three goals overall in a pretty wide open game. But he made big stops in the second and third period when the Canucks were getting good looks at the Boston net, and his glove hand looked as sharp as it has all season in his starts for the Bruins. It’s still an uphill climb for Khudobin at 2-5-1 on the season, but at least Boston can start developing some trust in their backup goalie situation after Saturday’s game.
Loui Eriksson finished a minus-2 with three shots on net, and played the exact kind of invisible game that he was known for in his return to Boston for the first time since signing as a free agent away from the Bruins. Eriksson is a perfectly fine winger that will put up good numbers when the season is over and will have some good nights, but Bruins fans got a reminder on Saturday afternoon that they haven’t missed the Swedish winger nearly enough as some people thought they might. It’s also not surprising that Eriksson has 11 goals and 22 points in 54 games for Vancouver after signing a long term contract with tons of security. One of the best things the B’s did last summer was passing on any temptations they had to bring Eriksson back.
The turning point for the Bruins was bouncing back in the third period after a dreadful middle period where they were outshot 15-3 and gave up a goal with 0.6 seconds on the clock prior to intermission. That might have been a back-breaker earlier in the season for the Black and Gold, but instead they found a way to steady themselves in the final 20 minutes and score a pair of goals to take home the regulation victory. Earlier this season the Bruins might not have shown the same resiliency and certainly might not have been able to take care of business in regulation, but they did it on Saturday against the Canucks.
Frank Vatrano only played 11:27 of ice time, but finished with a goal and a game-high three points for the Bruins while continuing to provide offense for the Black and Gold. It was a great play by David Krejci on the PP in the first period that set up Vatrano for the easy tap-in goal, but it Vatrano also playing hard and supporting his other linemates that set up the two goals (Kevan Miller and Colin Miller) that he assisted on in the first and third periods respectively. Vatrano finished with three shots on net and a pair of hits, and could really start lighting it up on the PP if he and Krejci connect on those passing seams in the formation.
BY THE NUMBERS
100 – the number of career NHL points for David Pastrnak after he scored the game-winning goal in the third period for the Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We bounced back very well [in the 3rd period] and we kept playing. We didn’t sit back and say maybe we'll get this to overtime if we're lucky.” – Bruce Cassidy, on an effort by the B’s in the final 20 minutes to bounce back from a bad goal and finish off Vancouver in regulation.