Here are Joe Haggerty's talking points from the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic.
GOLD STAR: Sean Kuraly got the honors with the game-winning goal against Buffalo, and he gets the very same with the game-winner in the second consecutive game as the Winter Classic hero as well. It was Kuraly that jumped toward the front of the net after a strong, physical shift from the fourth line, and was ready to hop on a puck after a Matt Grzelcyk point shot bounced off Chris Wagner and went right to him in front of the net. Kuraly, of course, had the big celebration after the game-winning play and truly was one of Boston’s best players during the entire game. Kuraly finished with five shots on net, eight shot attempts, a couple of hits and was 5-for-10 on face-offs while getting a ton of shifts at the end of the game along with Patrice Bergeron’s line.
BLACK EYE: Patrick Kane didn’t necessarily have a bad game as he managed to get five shots on net, and had a breakaway at the end of the first period that really could have broken the game a different way for the Blackhawks. But Tuukka Rask was able to stop Kane on the breakaway, he didn’t bust through with any actually points on his seven shot attempts and he ended up on ice for one of the Boston Bruins goals in the loss for Chicago. In order to win games likes the Winter Classic, a team’s best players have to rise to the occasion and actually produce. Kane wasn’t able to do that despite some chances to contribute for the Blackhawks.
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TURNING POINT: For the Bruins it was pretty clearly surviving the second period despite being outshot 16-10 and actually going into the final intermission with a tied score thanks to a power play goal at the end of the second period. It was a great individual play by Patrice Bergeron as he went on a back-check to get the puck back, and then went straight to his normal slot area for the bumper position. There he was in the right place at the right time when a David Pastrnak pass ricocheted to him in front and he was able to throw a backhanded shot at the net for the game-tying goal. It was exactly what was needed for the Bruins to stave off Chicago’s momentum and set up for a third period where the Black and Gold won the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: The first half of the game was controlled more by the Blackhawks than the Bruins, but it was David Pastrnak that kept the B’s right in the middle of things with some big plays. Pastrnak scored Boston’s first goal to make certain they went into the dressing room tied for the first intermission, and it was a great play with No. 88 patiently waiting down low for Patrice Bergeron to get the puck to him. Then it was Pastrnak with the deflected pass in the second period that bounced right to Bergeron in the slot for the power play goal that tied the game up at 2-2 apiece. In all Pastrnak finished with a goal and two points in 19:44 of ice time along with six shots on net and a whopping 11 shot attempts in a very active game. Clearly Pastrnak liked being in the out of doors playing the Winter Classic for the first time.
BY THE NUMBERS: 469 – The number of games played for Tuukka Rask in a Bruins uniform after Tuesday’s Winter Classic, the top number of games played for the B’s in franchise history. The fact it was a win was clearly cherry on top of the sundae.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was my first one and everybody was doing it, so I said 'I've got to do it.' I don't even know what it was for because the sun wasn't even there." –David Pastrnak, on opting for the eye black on a gray, cloudy day for the Winter Classic at Notre Dame.
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