Talking points from the Bruins' 3-2 loss to the Lightning. . .
GOLD STAR: Brayden Point wasn’t quite as dominant in the second half of the game as he was in the first half against the Bruins, but the numbers were still solid for the Tampa Bay forward when it was all over. Point finished with a goal, a plus-1 rating, four shots on net and six overall shot attempts while generating all kinds of offense for Tampa Bay, and tying the game up in the first period after the Bruins stormed strongly out of the gate. It was Nikita Kucherov and Point that teamed up for that first goal amid some B’s defensive breakdowns, and kept Tampa from chasing the game until they could get their bearings a little bit. People focus on other star players with the Lightning given their talent level, but Point is a pretty special player in his own right.
BLACK EYE: It’s been a tough recent stretch for Jake DeBrusk, and once again on Thursday night it wasn’t good as the winger was a team-worst minus-2 and finished with just a single shot on net. DeBrusk hasn’t had even a single point in his last five games while putting up a combined minus-7 during those games, and his slump comes at a time when the Bruins could sorely use some additional goal-scoring. DeBrusk was at least getting shots on net and chances until he was quieted town against Tampa Bay aside from one good chance on a deflection an early Bruins power play. DeBrusk will be excused a little given that he went through an extended hot streak prior to this recent offensive slowdown, but he’s got to find a happy medium with consistency.
TURNING POINT: It was undoubtedly the third period when things turned for the Bruins, and the Lightning scored a pair of goals in a span of 1:23 while Boston sagged a little after playing such a strong game up until that point. It was probably inevitable given how much of a struggle it is for the Bruins to simply score goals right now, but it was clear there was disappointment there after putting in a pretty solid effort for the first 40 minutes. The B’s hung in there and scored a goal with the goalie pulled to make it a one-goal game, but they just don’t have enough firepower to even score three or four goals in a game when it’s required for the two points.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak was undoubtedly the best player on the ice for the Bruins. He scored in the first period on a nifty rebound play where he kicked the puck to his stick before flicking it into the net for his 20th goal of the season, and finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-1 rating in 19:33 of ice time to go along with eight shot attempts and a couple of takeaways. One of those takeaways turned into a breakaway opportunity for Pastrnak as well, but Louis Domingue was able to get a leg pad on his backhanded shot and thwart Pastrnak’s bid for another multi-goal game. It was good to see Pastrnak playing at a high level after looking a little frustrated in the Florida loss. That’s what the Bruins are going to need more of until they get all their bodies back.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 – the spot on the all-time Bruins scoring list that David Krejci pulled into a tie with Cam Neely after his third-period goal. Both Krejci and Neely have 590 career points in Black and Gold.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "What a win in and of itself to be back out there. We're a family and I missed these guys a heck of a lot while I was out. It was an unfortunate loss, but an encouraging effort at the end. Nobody said die." –Bruins second-year D-man Charlie McAvoy, on his return to the lineup after missing 20 games with a concussion.
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