Bruins

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 3-2 OT win over the Rangers

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 3-2 OT win over the Rangers

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak just continues to dazzle and impress with his performances night in and night out. This time around, it was Pastrnak scoring the tying goal in the third period for his 24th of the season. Then, No. 88 again dangled through Rangers defenders in overtime before setting up a wide-open David Krejci in the slot for the OT winner. Pastrnak and the Bruins clearly weren’t at their best for most of the game, but they made plays when it mattered in the third period and OT. Pastrnak also finished with 10 shot attempts, two hits, two takeaways and a plus-2 in 21:42 of ice time. Still, it was the OT offensive zone rush that will be on the highlight reels and it allowed the B’s to skate away with the two points.

BLACK EYE: For such a big, strong winger, Chris Kreider was pretty close to invisible on Friday afternoon at TD Garden. Kreider was a minus-1 and finished with just one shot on net for a Rangers attack that could have used him in the first few periods. Then Kreider got blown up with a huge hit from Charlie McAvoy in the closing minutes of the third period in a little BU-on-BC crime to add insult to injury prior to Boston winning in overtime. Certainly, Kreider is a guy who should be on Boston’s radar given his size, strength and skill level as a free-agent-to-be, but games such as Friday's shouldn’t get anybody excited about the prospect of him wearing Black and Gold at some point soon.

TURNING POINT: The Rangers had six power plays and more than 10 minutes of power-play time, but they did nothing with it. The biggest turning point for the Bruins was killing off a four-minute power play for the Blueshirts after Par Lindholm was whistled for a double-minor high-sticking call with seven minutes left in the third period. The Bruins killed it off with some help from Jaroslav Halak and the TD Garden crowd got riled up with each passing clear. Once the Bruins had successfully killed off the four-minute PP without any damage to preserve the tie at 2, it helped push things to overtime, where Pastrnak and Krejci did their thing.

HONORABLE MENTION: Halak deserves plenty of credit for keeping the Bruins in the game when they weren’t doing much of anything in the first 40 minutes. Halak made 10 stops in the first period when the Bruins basically disappeared in the second half of the period. He made another 10 stops in the second period until Sean Kuraly scored and finally got the B's going. Halak was at his best in the third, though, when he stood tall on the Rangers' four-minute power play where they couldn't get anything through the Bruins backup netminder. Halak finished with 26 saves and outdueled Henrik Lundqvist.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the number of players in NHL history with 12 goals in each of the first two months of the season, with Pastrnak now joining a list that includes just Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky. That is big-time company.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We had some passengers, not a trait of our team, but tonight, we did. So, we mixed it. I thought Jack [Studnicka] could give us some energy. He wants to prove he can play at this level, so you’re going to get the effort no matter what; we’ll fix the mistakes along the way. The effort was there on [the Sean Kuraly] goal.” –Bruce Cassidy, on moving forwards around in the line combos including Jack Studnicka with some "passengers" up front on Friday afternoon.

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

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Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the B's 4-1 loss to the Avalanche

Here are my talking points from the Bruins’ first regulation loss at home in 2019-20:

GOLD STAR: It isn’t going to happen very often, but Ian Cole turned out to be the single biggest contributor in a team-wide win for the Avalanche. It was Cole that smoked a slap shot past the glove hand of Jaroslav Halak to give Colorado a 2-1 lead in the second period, and he made certain his first goal of the season was an important one. Cole also blocked five shots in 17:17 of ice time and was part of a gritty, determined effort to protect the lead once the Avs got up 3-1 in the third. He mixed in a couple of hits and a couple of takeaways as well, and made some big plays in what was pretty much a perfect game overall for Colorado.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bruins take first home regulation loss vs. Avs, 4-1

BLACK EYE: There’s more than a few, but how about Danton Heinen just not making the plays that he needs to make when he’s in the lineup? Forget about the zero shots on net in 16:45 of ice time, with a number of them either getting blocked or missing the net. That’s nothing new when it comes to a player that’s barely averaging a shot on net for game. But he also turned the puck over behind the Boston net in a sequence that led to Cole’s game-winner as the Bruins began to run around in the defensive zone. It was that particular play that led Bruce Cassidy to lament that the attention to details was lacking for his players at this point in the season. If Heinen isn’t making the little plays, is a minus player and isn’t bringing any offense, then he isn’t worth having in the lineup.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went into the first intermission tied at 1-1 after only putting four shots on net, and should have had the kind of wakeup call that they needed to turn the intensity up a little bit. Instead they went through a second period where they again only put up four shots on net while falling behind by two goals headed into the final 20 minutes. The Avalanche only leveled five shots on net as well, but they scored on a pair of them and pounced all over Boston’s mistakes while playing a surprisingly disciplined, two-way game despite their explosive offensive players. This time around, the Bruins didn’t have any way to come back in the third period against a quality Colorado team that wasn’t going to fold for them.

#HaggBag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em

HONORABLE MENTION: One of the few players to put up an honest-to-goodness effort in the loss was the hard-hitting fourth liner, Chris Wagner. It was Wagner that redirected a John Moore point shot in the first period for his third goal of the season that gave the Bruins an initial lead in the game. Wagner led the Bruins with five registered hits, scored on the only shot on net he had in the game and won 5-of-10 face-offs that he took in his 12:39 of ice time. The shame was that there weren’t enough other players that rose to the level of urgency and compete that Wagner was showing throughout the game for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 – The home point streak (12-0-5) is over for the Bruins as the Avs handed them their first regulation loss on home ice this year, and their first since Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues almost six months ago.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “There’s just a lot of details that are working us against us now. We’ve just got to wake up and start playing to our abilities in those situations. And live with the result. It doesn’t mean we’re going to win, but I think we’re leaving plays on the table because our lack of urgency or understanding that teams are coming after us.” –Bruce Cassidy, lamenting the lack of urgency in the B’s game as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Avalanche.

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

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Highlights: Bruins can't seize momentum, fall 4-1 to Avs

FINAL SCORE: Avalanche 4, Bruins 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins tied it early with a Chris Wagner tip-in off a John Moore shot from the point, but from there the Avs dictated play to hand Boston its first home loss in regulation at TD Garden in the 2019-20 season. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Avs, though, who lost Calder Trophy favorite and former UMass star Cale Makar to injury.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 20-4-6 (46 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

WAGNER TIPS HOME MOORE’S SHOT FROM POINT

AVS LOSE MAKAR

UP NEXT:

At Ottawa, Monday, 7:30 p.m., NESN

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