Bruins

Talking Points: David Krejci shines, Brad Marchand struggles as Bruins blow three-goal lead

Talking Points: David Krejci shines, Brad Marchand struggles as Bruins blow three-goal lead

GOLD STAR: Travis Sanheim isn’t the biggest name among the Flyers defenseman corps, but he played a big role in the comeback win for Philly. Sanheim scored the game-tying goal in the third period after a scramble in front of the net where the Bruins had some very serious breakdowns all around Jaroslav Halak in the cage.

Sanheim finished with two goals and a plus-1 rating in 25:32 of ice time along with five shots on net, seven shot attempts and a blocked shot in 30 shifts in the game. He was the poster boy for Philly’s second effort comeback while scrapping around the net and stepping up the compete level once the Bruins hit it in cruise control up 5-2 in the second period.

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BLACK EYE: Brad Marchand didn’t have a single shot on net in 19:44 of ice time, and had just two shot attempts while picking up an assist during the regulation portion of play. Then, Marchand did something I’ve never seen before when he essentially whiffed on his shootout attempt after Travis Konecny had scored and made it a do-or-die situation for the Bruins left winger.

It was quite literally the worst shootout attempt there has ever been in the NHL and ended up being a fitting end for a Bruins team that was essentially fanned on the shootout all season-long.

The Bruins dropped to 0-7 in shootouts after the way things ended in Philly and it might be time to start trying some different strategies and personnel in the shootout.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins went up 5-2 around the midway point of the second period and almost immediately after that point, they simply stopped playing winning hockey. The defense got really soft, the goaltending was suspect for most of the night and it started catching up to them as they weren’t able to put anything else past Carter Hart.

They were outshot by a 15-6 margin over the course of that middle 20 minutes and it felt that way on the ice even though the Bruins scored a pair of goals early on to put a five-spot on the board. The Bruins still had chances to pull things out after that point, but the second period swoon stands as the exact point where things got away from the Black and Gold.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci was part of an excellent night for the B’s second line where they produced goals, provided secondary offense and gave the Bruins enough offense where they should have won the game.

Krejci finished with a pair of goals where one of them was him cashing in a chance while crashing at the net on a Danton Heinen cross-ice pass, and the other was some great chemistry with Anders Bjork, who found Krejci wide open at the back-side of the net.

Krejci finished with the two goals, four shots on net, seven shot attempts, a hit and 12-of-17 face-off wins in a complete effort centering Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-7 – the Bruins continue to fumble away their shootout chances and once again, they didn’t score a single goal in the shootout session while Jaroslav Halak was making some pretty strong shootout saves at the other end of the ice.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We had no will to keep the puck out of our net on the last three goals. That’s been a staple of our team for years. Let’s hope it’s just a one-off because it was unprofessional the way we performed in front of the net for the last three goals. We have to be better.” –Bruce Cassidy, on NESN postgame when asked about the defense around the net from his Bruins.

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: How to watch NHL game online

Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: How to watch NHL game online

The Boston Bruins just beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at the TD Garden. After the Penguins scored the opening goal just seconds into the contest, the Bruins roared back and scored four unanswered to earn the win.

Now, they'll have to bring forth that same type of energy in a hostile road environment.

The Bruins are taking on the Penguins at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon in a marquee afternoon clash at the PPG Paints Arena.

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The Penguins (30-13-5) sit at second place in the Metropolitan division behind only the Washington Capitals, a team that has the most points in the NHL. Pittsburgh is coming off a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night that will serve as a palate cleanser for the team.

Meanwhile, the Bruins (28-9-12) are coming off the win against the Penguins and have posted a modest 5-2-3 record in their last 10 games. They've made some roster changes in the past week with Brett Ritchie and David Backes being waived while Tuukka Rask is dealing with a concussion.

Rask's concussion means that Jaroslav Halak will likely start again in net. Halak had been in a bit of a slump before the game against Pittsburgh, allowing 17 goals in a five-game span in which he went 1-2-2 as a starter. Hopefully, he will be able to repeat his strong performance against Pittsburgh.

The Bruins will also be without second-line center David Krejci for another game. Par Lindholm will take his place in the lineup and will likely center the team's third line with Coyle playing on the second unit. Lindholm is on a two-game point streak and scored a goal on Thursday against the Penguins.

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Krejci (upper body) out for Sunday afternoon game vs Penguins

Krejci (upper body) out for Sunday afternoon game vs Penguins

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins will be without playmaking center David Krejci again on Sunday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins as he’s been ruled out for the second half of the home-and-home series against Pittsburgh. 

It’s believed to be a lower-back issue for Krejci, 33, something he’s battled the past few years. He also missed the B's win Thursday over Pittsburgh in Boston.

The hope is that Krejci will feel good enough to play in the Tuesday pre-All-Star break finale against the Vegas Golden Knights ahead of a 10-day break around the bye week and All-Star weekend, then again an extended rest period of more than two weeks for the veteran second-line center might not be the worst thing in the world either.

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“He’s not traveling. He didn’t skate today so he doesn’t have a chance to play [on Sunday],” coach Bruce Cassidy of Krejci, who has 11 goals and 32 points in 41 games this season, but will miss his ninth game of the season due to injuries on Sunday. “We’ll look at Tuesday if he’ll skate on Monday, but then it becomes an issue of are you better off just getting a whole break in there. If he can come in and skate [on Monday] then that would be a good measure for [his readiness for] Tuesday.”

Charlie Coyle will bump up in his place between Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork and Par Lindholm will enter the lineup as a third-line center with Krejci still injured. It should be the same exact lineup as the one that scored a convincing 4-1 win over the Penguins on Thursday night.

Ahead of practice on Saturday the Bruins also recalled 6-foot-5 goaltending prospect Dan Vladar and Max Lagace was sent back down to Providence after he stopped 24 of 26 shots in the P-Bruins' 2-1 loss to Bridgeport on Friday night.  

Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Penguins based on Saturday practice at Warrior Ice Arena:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Coyle-Bjork

Heinen-Lindholm-Kuhlman

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

 
Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Moore


Halak