Talking points: Krug overmatched filling in for Chara
Jori Lehtera scored two of the Blues’ four goals on the evening, and got them on the board in the second period as they started building up momentum for a hostile takeover of the game. Lehtera made quick contact with Tuukka Rask before a Colton Parayko shot was leveled at the Boston net, and then the Blues center tipped the puck past the Bruins goaltender for the first St. Louis score of the game. A couple more goals came in short order after that in the second period, and then Lehtera was at it again in the third period with an empty netter after the Bruins had applied a ton of pressure on the bend-but-don’t-break Blues defense. In all Lehtera finished with two goals, a plus-1 rating and three shot attempts, two takeaways and a blocked shot in 16:14 of ice time.
Torey Krug was thrust into the No. 1 defenseman role with Zdeno Chara down and out, and it was a rough one for the undersized defenseman. He finished a game-worst minus-3 on the night in a team-high 24:44 of ice time. It wasn’t Krug’s fault at all, however, as Brandon Carlo was a minus-2 while being on the ice for the pivotal game-tying and go-ahead goals in the second period, and the David Krejci/David Backes combo were also on the ice for a couple of goals against. That’s above and beyond some rebounds spit out by Tuukka Rask that he’d probably like to have back as well. It was a literal black eye for the Bruins once Chara was knocked out of the game.
Things all changed when Zdeno Chara exited the game just one shift into the second period on a seemingly normal hit in the corner from Jordan Schwartz. The Bruins gave up three goals in the second period, and surrendered as many shots on net (14) in the middle 20 minutes as they did in the first and third periods combined. There was a period in the first half of the second period where the Blues really made a big push, and without their 6-foot-9 stopper the Bruins scrambled around in their own zone looking for answers. Eventually things stabilized and the Bruins got back into their rhythm in the third period, but they couldn’t push a puck past Jake Allen in order to get the game into overtime.
Patrik Berglund was in the middle of plenty for the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, and played a big role in the dominant shift that led to the game-tying Roberto Bortuzzo goal in the second period. He finished with a pair of assists and a plus-2 rating in 15:07 of ice time to go along with six shot attempts, two hits, a blocked shot and a competitive six wins in 13 face-off tries against Boston’s top centers. It was a team-wide victory and performance for the Blues in a solid win where they really turned things on in the second period, and it was because players like Berglund pushed hard after the first intermission.
BY THE NUMBERS:
20,001 -- the number of goals scored by the Bruins in the history of their franchise after getting two goals on Tuesday night. It was a David Backes power play goal that will live on in infamy as the 20,000th goal in B’s history.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"Hopefully it’s very temporary and he'll be back in short order. But if he's not we need guys to pick up the slack and move forward.” -- David Backes, on Bruins captain Zdeno Chara leaving in the second period with an undisclosed injury.