Talking Points: Khudobin's struggles continue
Cam Ward was under siege in the first half of the game, and made some stellar saves including on a David Pastrnak chance directly in front of the net in the first period. Then he simply held strong in the third period and overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes took control of the game, and tilted the ice against the Black and Gold before winning it in the extra session. In all Ward made 31 saves and outplayed Anton Khudobin at the other end of the ice while making the saves that won his hockey club the full two points. The only two shots to beat him were both deflections from the B’s. It’s been a very good season for Ward in Carolina as he improved his record to 12-8-6 for the Hurricanes this season.
Anton Khudobin needs to be better. He gives up the overtime shot to Teuvo Teravainen from the high slot that a backup goaltender needs to stop in a game where the Bruins outshot the Hurricanes by a 33-23 margin. Khudobin was good when the Bruins were dominating early in the game, but then faltered as the B’s started giving up chances to the Hurricanes over the second half of the game. Khudobin fell to 1-5-1 on the season, and the Bruins have only managed one win in 10 tries from their backups this season. That’s the kind of thing that can keep them out of the playoffs if they don’t find a way to improve it.
The Bruins were cruising until faltering on a power play, which has been a variation on a theme this season. This time it was Austin Czarnik fumbling the puck at the blue line, and that turned into a Jordan Staal shorthanded breakaway in the other direction. Staal beat Anton Khudobin with the shorthanded chance to make it a 2-1 lead for the Bruins, and completely shifted momentum in the game away from the Black and Gold. Part of the blame is certainly with an offense that couldn’t score more goals and with Khudobin, but it was Czarnik’s misplay that opened the door for the Hurricanes to climb back in this one.
Ryan Spooner had mostly an excellent game for the Bruins with a goal and two points along with six shots on net and four takeaways while playing some really strong hockey. He camped out in front of the net for the first goal when Torey Krug’s blasted bounced off the back of Spooner’s skate before ending up in the back of the net. Then it was his point blast on the PP that Brad Marchand managed to redirect past Cam Ward. He might have slightly screened Anton Khudobin on the OT game-winner from Teuvo Teravainen, but the B’s backup goalie simply doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in this one.
BY THE NUMBERS
.956 – the save percentage for Zane McIntyre in Providence as he might be pushing for a look over struggling Anton Khudobin.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We played a pretty good 35 minutes or so. But we leave here not enjoying a flight home with what could have been if we do what we need to do with a two-goal lead.” – David Backes, among the Bruins not satisfied with the overtime loss to the Hurricanes after blowing a two-goal lead.