Talking Points: Forsberg wins key battle vs. Carlo
Juuse Saros certainly isn’t a goaltender household name at this early point in his NHL career, but the Finnish netminder was downright impressive making a career-high 35 saves against the Bruins. Saros’ best save of the day arrived in the third period when he slammed the door on a Ryan Spooner backdoor attempt after some good passing from the B’s in the offensive zone, and he made 13 saves in total in the final period as the Bruins attempted to scratch and claw for a goal. The nearly flawless performance from Saros in the win for Nashville also underscored just now close to impossible it’s been for the Bruins to get those same kind of winning performances from their own backup goalies in their times of need.
It’s a results oriented business in the NHL, so the bad grade has to be handed out to the player that broke down on the game-winning goal. Brandon Carlo was pretty good for most of the game, but he lost a 1-on-1 battle with Filip Forsberg on a loose puck in front of the Boston net despite having pretty good position headed into the play. Forsberg won the battle, kicked the puck to his stick and then managed to beat Zane McIntyre five-hole all in one motion in a second period play that ended up deciding the game. It certainly was one of those learning moments for the 20-year-old where he needs greater strength and technique to come out on top there, but it also cost the Bruins points unfortunately. A year from now with a bigger, stronger and wiser Carlo, it’s doubtful Forsberg is able to make a play like that on the puck.
The second period was where the game was decided, and the Predators came out on top. The Predators and Bruins traded goals while the B’s controlled play for most of the game, but all it took was one breakdown by a young D-man and a young goaltender in the second period to turn the tide away from Boston. Unfortunately the Bruins couldn’t muster more than a single goal against a team playing their backup goaltender, and missing their two best defensemen in PK Subban and Roman Josi for most of the contest. When pulling back and looking at the big picture, the turning point was not being able to score more than the single goal over 60 minutes of competitive hockey.
The gritty Nashville Predators managed to go toe-to-toe with the Bruins for 60 minutes and come out on top, and they owed it to a number of players that brought their hard hats for a tough night’s work. One of those players was Austin Watson, who was a physical presence for the Predators playing aggressively around the Boston net. Watson got the Predators on the board when he stole a puck from Torey Krug right in front of the Boston net, and fired it past Zane McIntyre before he had a chance to react. Watson finished with a goal and a plus-1 rating in 17:24 of ice time along with two shots on net, four registered hits and four blocked shots in a particularly active night.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – the number of saves made by Tuukka Rask before a Roman Josi blast off his throat knocked the Bruins No. 1 goalie out of the game in the first period.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Overall we played well, but at this point in the season we're kind of sick of moral victories. We want results" –Torey Krug, the B’s lone goal-scorer after the 2-1 loss to the Predators at the Bridgestone Arena.