GOLD STAR: Torey Krug got the game-winner in OT on a blast from the point after a scramble in the offensive zone and once again plays the overtime hero.
It wasn’t just the OT fireworks though as it was a wrist shot from just inside the blue line that set up Boston’s other goal in the second period. Krug played the starring role in both goals scored by the Bruins in the needed win and finished with the goal and two points in 22:12 of ice time.
He also finished with five shots on net, six shot attempts, a hit and a pair of blocked shots all while stepping up along with the rest of the B’s defense corps after Brandon Carlo was lost to injury. It’s nights like Thursday night that underscore just how valuable Krug is to this Bruins team and how much they need to keep him in the fold.
BLACK EYE: Evgenii Dadonov was whistled for a five-minute major after elbowing Brandon Carlo in the head as the two players went into the corner for a puck. Carlo was bloodied and dazed following the elbow to his face and exited the game for good in the second period following the hit. The referees went to video review for the major penalty call and actually reduced it to a minor two-minute elbowing penalty.
Apparently, the refs felt it was an unintentional elbow from the normally mild-mannered Dadonov, but it really doesn’t matter per the rulebook if the elbow draws blood and causes an injury as it did in this particular case. So Marc Joannette and Brian Pochmara get the thumbs down for inexplicably reducing a five-minute major elbowing call that knocked Carlo out of the game.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins and Panthers engaged in a highly entertaining overtime that finished with Jaroslav Halak stoning Aleksander Barkov on a breakaway chance as the biggest play of the extra session. Seconds later the Bruins were down at the other end of the ice and Torey Krug rifled a big blast through traffic for the overtime game-winner, but the B’s wouldn’t have pulled off the two points if Halak doesn’t make the breakaway save prior to that.
On a night when the Bruins had their “B” game rather than their “A” game, Halak was a difference-maker by playing so solidly between the pipes for them.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jaroslav Halak was solid for the Bruins throughout the game. He made a number of key stops throughout a game where the Bruins never had their best brand of hockey, and was at his best in the second period when he stopped 14-of-15 shots he faced while the B’s were getting outshot by a 15-5 margin. His biggest stop was in the overtime session, though, when Aleksander Barkov was sprung for a breakaway chance that could have handed the Bruins an easy loss.
Instead Barkov tried to go forehand to backhand and lifted the puck over Halak’s leg pads, but the B’s goaltender was able to get his glove over in time to stop the puck. The save kept the B’s in the OT session and helped set up Torey Krug’s game-winner a few moments later. In all Halak stopped 32-of-33 shots in the big win for the B’s.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of 30-goal seasons for Patrice Bergeron in his career as he finished off his career-best third consecutive 30-goal season by scoring on the power play in the second period.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought it was a decent chance to kind of get the guys in the game. I think they enjoyed it.” –Nick Ritchie on his first fight as a member of the Bruins where he hammered rookie D-man Riley Stillman.