FROM JOE HAGGERTY
The legend of David Pastrnak grows as he’s enjoying another big game on the Winter Classic outdoor ice. It was Pastrnak that scored Boston’s first goal when he camped down low and flipped back a shot after Patrice Bergeron managed to work the puck down to him on the power play. Pastrnak also had another chance a couple of minutes later, but this time Cam Ward managed to thwart him on the backhanded chance. Pastrnak led all Bruins with six shots on net and 10 shot attempts through two periods, and he also picked up an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s power play strike in the second period that tied up the game.
A good first period for Tuukka Rask, who stopped 11-of-12 shots including a couple of Grade-A chances led by the Patrick Kane breakaway in the closing seconds of the first period. Perhaps an ever better second period where Chicago took it to the Bruins, and Rask made 15 saves while only being beaten on a tip from the high slot that managed to sneak through his pads. Rask hasn’t made it a secret that he doesn’t enjoy playing in these outdoor games, but it seems like he’s tracking the puck pretty well in this one. He was also the beneficiary of Connor Murphy ringing one off the pipe and Alex DeBrincat missing an open net by steering the puck just a little to the outside of the net. But Rask made the saves he needed to make, and that’s all the Bruins are asking of him.
Once again the Bruins power play has come to the rescue with a goal in the closing moments of the second period. It has been a savior on more than one occasion for the B’s this season and has given them lifts when their five-on-five play has let them down, and that’s exactly what happened in a middle 20 minutes where the B’s really didn’t play very good hockey. Instead it was Patrice Bergeron firing home a backhanded shot through traffic from the slot after a David Pastrnak pass deflected off a body in front and went right to the blade of his stick in the perfect spot. Once again Bergeron in the right place at the right time. It’s really the story of his life, isn’t it?
No shots on net through 12:24 and a minus-1 rating for Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, so apparently the experiment of putting him on the right wing isn’t really amounting to much. It’s not hard to see why it might not work given that he’s not exactly muscle-bound when it comes to puck battles and board-work, and playing outside the center position could just exacerbate some of his tendencies to fade during games with passive play. JFK was not very noticeable at all in the first 40 minutes.
Sean Kuraly continues to score big goals for the Bruins. This time it was the go-ahead and ultimate game-winning goal for the Bruins in the third period of the Winter Classic. It was Matt Grzelcyk that wound up and wobbled a point shot toward the Chicago net that bounced off Chris Wagner in front, and went directly to Kuraly crashing hard from the slot area. Kuraly put it into the open net and then went speeding to the corner glass for his trademark goal celebration. Kuraly also scored the overtime game-winner last weekend in Buffalo as well, so the fourth line center now has two-game winning goals in two straight games.
KREJCI NEARLY PUTS THE B'S ON THE BOARD EARLY
PERLIN PUTS THE BLACKHAWKS UP 1-0
PASTA TIES IT UP 1-1
RASK STOPS KANE ON THE BREAK
KAHUN GIVES CHICAGO THE LEAD 2-1
BERGERON STRIKES BACK TO TIE IT 2-2
KURALY'S CLUTCH GOAL PUTS B'S UP 3-2
GAME SAVING STOP BY RASK
MARCHAND PUTS THE GAME ON ICE WITH EMPTY NET GOAL
BRUINS RECORD: 22-14-4
THURSDAY: vs Flames 7:00 p.m. (NESN)
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