Talking points: Danton Heinen doesn't waste his shot with Bruins
Danton Heinen didn’t play a ton of minutes and wasn’t on the power play, but he still managed to lead the offense by scoring his first two NHL goals in 8:39 of ice time. Heinen went hard to the net in both instances, and was rewarded in the first period when a David Backes rebound bounced right to him in the slot and then again in the second period when a long Brandon Carlo carom off the end boards arrived right at the post ahead of a scrambling Martin Jones. Heinen scored both of the goals, had two shots on net and managed to contribute on the PK while showing that he could be a valued bottom-6 forward on this team. It says a lot about Heinen that he responded to getting busted down to Providence by working hard, dominating and then excelling when given his shot again by the Bruins.
Logan Couture has been dominant so far with the San Jose Sharks with seven goals and 10 points in eight games, but he was MIA against the Bruins on Thursday night with just a single shot on net, three giveaways and no points in 17:30 of ice time. Joe Thornton scored a goal and Brent Burns rifled seven shots on net to help pace the Sharks offense to the one goal that they did have, but they needed somebody like Couture to step up in the third period and make a play if they were going to even salvage a point against the Bruins. Instead Anton Khudobin and the Bruins penalty kill shut things down in the third period and secured a big win where they were able to protect a one-goal lead.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins slipped a bit in the second period with just a couple of shots on net in the first 10 plus minutes, and then slipped a little more when Joe Thornton scored a PP goal to tie things up at the midpoint in the game. Instead of buckling as they did last weekend against the Sabres, however, the Bruins pushed forward and regained the lead just three minutes later amid a very strong shift for Danton Heinen along with Tim Schaller and Frank Vatrano. Heinen ended up banging home the game-winning score after a long rebound off the end boards from a Brandon Carlo shot, and the Bruins had their necessary response to Buffalo’s push.
Anton Khudobin was among the many players that struggled last weekend against the Buffalo Sabres despite making 37 saves, but he was on point against the Sharks in a strong performance on Thursday night. Khudobin made 15 of his 36 saves in the third period with the desperate Sharks trying to push things into overtime, and probably had his best moment when he shut down Melker Karlsson on a partial breakaway followed by a bad angle follow-up chance where he cleanly stopped both attempts. More importantly Khudobin improved to 3-0-1 on the season and has been excellent in his backup role with Tuukka Rask poised to return.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1 – David Backes and Kevan Miller each recorded their first points of the season with assists on Danton Heinen’s shorthanded goal in the first period.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“After that last game we went over it and we just want to stay calm in those situations. We had an even bigger lead in the last game, but this time it was 2-1 and I feel like we learned from that experience of the Buffalo comeback.” –Brandon Carlo, on protecting the one-goal lead in the third period after collapsing in the final 20 minutes last weekend in Buffalo.