BOSTON – The road ahead might have just gotten a little more difficult for the Boston Bruins.
First things first the Bruins didn’t get on the scoreboard early despite amassing 50 shots on net, but managed to utilize a couple of late goals to pull out a gritty 2-1 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.
Jake DeBrusk redirected a Nick Holden point pass for a game-tying power play strike in the final three minutes of regulation, and Brad Marchand snapped home his 25th of the year for the overtime game-winner for the Black and Gold.
But the bigger issue could be the health of 20-year-old rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy after he exited Saturday’s game after exactly 37 seconds in the first period, and never returned with a lower body injury. It looked like McAvoy had an awkward tumble into the boards and was the victim of some stick-work from Brendan Gallagher during the short shift, and it wasn’t clear what exactly knocked him out of the game.
The status for McAvoy remains unclear at this point, but it was very clear the Bruins struggled finishing off plays with both McAvoy and Patrice Bergeron out of the Black and Gold lineup with injuries. The only goal for most of the game was a Gallagher snipe that happened after the pesky Habs forward picked off a cross-ice neutral zone pass from Kevan Miller. It was one of several turnovers by Miller in the first period, but the Bruins tightened up after that and didn’t allow another goal to Montreal in a hockey game that went down to the wire.
The Bruins had their chances to even things up with 37 shots on net and five power play opportunities through the first couple of periods, but they couldn’t solve Antti Niemi (48 saves) until very late in the proceedings.