Talking Points: Bergeron has best game of the season
Patrice Bergeron had his best game of the season racking up a couple of assists while posting a team-high five shots on net, three hits, three blocked shots and 21-of-36 face-off wins in a whopping 23:37 of ice time. If No. 37 has truly turned the corner from his lower body injury, then the Bruins could start to be in much better shape moving forward. Bergeron’s line was a force all night in the offensive end and playing lockdown defense at the other, and that’s really the way it should be when everything is going right for the B’s center.
J.T. Brown has given the Bruins fits in the past with his gritty style, but he was not very effective on this night. Brown was only on the ice for 6:44, but somehow managed to be on the ice for a pair of goals against, have zero shots on net and for good measure take a double-minor sticking call on David Pastrnak that led to a power play goal for Ryan Spooner. The high-stick was like something out of Game of Thrones with Brown acting like he was swinging Valyrian steel, and it looked like Pastrnak lost a couple of teeth as a result of the reckless actions.
The biggest play of the game that allowed the Bruins to eventually bank the two points was Brandon Carlo blocking a shot with his jaw to protect a vacant net behind him in the closing minutes of the third period. Steve Stamkos had rushed the net to draw the attention of the defense and goalie Tuukka Rask, and he fed Nikita Kucherov with a wide open net to shoot at. Carlo dropped to one knee while readying to absorb the puck any way possible, and took a wobbly shot right off the mouth in order to prevent the go-ahead goal from scoring. It was an instinct play to protect a lead, and it allowed the Bruins to go from possibly zero points to the full two points for a shootout victory. That’s pretty heady stuff for a 19-year-old.
Who else but Jimmy Hayes? He didn’t do much during regulation, but credit Hayes for sticking with it and staying ready when his name was called in the 10th round of the shootout that would never end, and he was able to go upstairs with a wrist shot on Andrei Vasilevskiy that gave the Bruins two points in the books. It won’t go down as an actual goal Hayes, but perhaps it will give him something to build on after scoring a grand total of zero points in his first 10 games of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 – Sean Kuraly is the sixth member of the Bruins organization to make his NHL debut this season in a veritable parade of talented young players.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We're getting good goaltending, and we're getting better as a team. I think we're playing harder and we're playing smarter.” – Claude Julien, who likes what he’s seeing out of his Bruins after a three-game winning streak on the road.