Carolina Hurricanes

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 2-0 win over the Hurricanes

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 2-0 win over the Hurricanes

GOLD STAR: Charlie Coyle was the best player on the ice for the Bruins on Tuesday night, so it was fitting that the big center ended up with the winning goal in the third period. Coyle had most of the rest of the scoring chances for the Black and Gold as well, including a rebound chance in the first period off a Matt Grzelcyk point shot. But it was the third-period play where Coyle went to the net and redirected a Brad Marchand pass that got the Bruins on the board with 4:05 left and injected some life into the team. Coyle finished with six shots on net, two hits, two blocked shots and a takeaway in 17:14 of ice time and played the kind of big boy game that the Bruins could use more of from one of their biggest forwards.

BLACK EYE: Sebastian Aho is usually a Bruins killer of the highest magnitude, but he was invisible on Tuesday night in a game where most of Carolina’s big guns were neutralized. Aho finished with a shot on net, two shot attempts and not much in the way of noticeable chances in 20:24 of ice time. Actually, Carolina scoring threats Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen were also kept from making many plays or creating too many chances. Obviously, that’s what led to the shutout for Jaroslav Halak, but it was less about the goaltending and more about the strong, hard-checking defense being played all over the ice.

TURNING POINT: The third period is the Bruins' turning point this season. That's where they've outscored opponents 39-20 this season. It’s the period where they enjoy the biggest goal differential with a plus-19 and it’s by far the period where they have scored the most goals (39) this season while routinely pulling away from opponents as they've done over their most recent homestand. On Tuesday night, it was the final five minutes where the Hurricanes finally cracked and Coyle was able to turn a good hustle play and a wild pass off the boards into a strong scoring play going to the net. Then the Bruins followed with another goal from David Krejci 68 seconds later to put away the 2-0 win - their eighth victory in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brandon Carlo has played very well this season and that continued in a defensive grudge match against the Hurricanes. Carlo was immense in the defensive zone and did all of the little things while finishing with four shots on net, five hits and three blocked shots in 22:11 of ice time. He also finished with a plus-1 rating, but it’s his play as a defensive warrior that stands out. The biggest reason Carolina’s big forwards were shut down against the Bruins is that Carlo and Zdeno Chara decided they were going to do some shutting down, along with Charlie McAvoy, too. Carlo has flown under the radar because he’s not a big points guy, but he’s been sneaky excellent this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 500 – number of career games for Jaroslav Halak, who recorded a 24-save shutout, the 49th of his career, in the milestone effort against the Hurricanes.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It shows that we’re conditioned, and we have will, both. We know how to play when the game is on the line.” –Bruce Cassidy on the B’s tendency to pull away from opponents in the third period.

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Bruce Cassidy on David Pastrnak getting targeted: 'He just needs to be ready for it'

Bruce Cassidy on David Pastrnak getting targeted: 'He just needs to be ready for it'

BRIGHTON, Mass – Though the game was a couple of days ago, the talk around the Bruins on Tuesday was again about the targeting of the NHL’s leading scorer, David Pastrnak.

The 23-year-old Bruins sniper leads the NHL by a wide margin with 25 goals this season and is on pace to tie the franchise-record 76 goals scored by Bruins legend Phil Esposito. At this point, nobody has been able to contain him. 

Ottawa tried shadowing Pastrnak defensively last week, and both the Rangers and Canadiens last weekend employed the strategy of roughing up No. 88 in order to discourage him. It didn’t work out for either team as Pastrnak scored instrumental third-period goals against both the Blueshirts and the Habs, but it’s also a pattern that could become routine as Pastrnak keeps on scoring goals.

While the old-school hockey mentality would be to protect Pastrnak by going after opponents that take runs at him, that isn’t what happened on Sunday night against Montreal when Shea Weber, Jake Armia, Ben Chariot and Jeff Petry all took turns giving him the rough treatment. Instead, the Bruins pushed back a bit, scored a few goals and ending up winning the game in the best long-term payback for it.

Cassidy said again on Tuesday ahead of the home tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes that it’s going to be on Pastrnak to “be ready for it” rather than his teammates step up to protect him.

“When you’re a better player, that happens. He’ll just have to keep his head up a little more. There were a couple of against the Rangers and Montreal the other night that were borderline late. You hope that the league takes care of the players when those situations happen. But he just needs to be ready for it,” Cassidy said. “That’s just the way it is. When you’re a good player you just get targeted more. If you don’t want to get hit that often or get targeted, be an average player. I don’t mean that to be disrespectful, but that’s the way it goes.

“We circle guys on the other team’s lineup all the time in terms of slowing them down. How are we going to do it? Well, deny them the puck, good sticks and be physical. There’s a bunch of different ways you can do it, but clearly being physical was on Montreal’s agenda the other night. As long as it’s within the rules, that’s just hockey.”

Part of the reason Cassidy has to take this approach is the NHL continuing to legislate fighting and frontier justice out of the league and part of it is simply that the Bruins don’t have too many players on their roster capable of protecting Pastrnak as a deterrent.

Aside from 42-year-old Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and 35-year-old David Backes, just back from a concussion, there aren’t too many players that are going to put any fear into opposition looking to take liberties with the Bruins’ game-breaking force.

With that in mind, the B’s better that Pastrnak “being ready for it” also protects him from getting injured as a result of the increased punishment headed his way. Because it seems as if an injury is about the only thing capable of slowing Pastrnak down as he keeps on scoring at an unheard-of pace in today’s NHL.

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NHL Highlights: David Krejci milestone, Jaroslav Halak shutout help Bruins beat Hurricanes 2-0, extend win streak to 8

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NHL Highlights: David Krejci milestone, Jaroslav Halak shutout help Bruins beat Hurricanes 2-0, extend win streak to 8

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 2, Hurricanes 0

IN BRIEF: After two scoreless periods, Charlie Coyle broke the deadlock in the third with his sixth goal of the season and David Krejci scored his 200th NHL goal to back Jaroslav Halak (24 saves) and give the Bruins a 2-0 home victory over the Carolina Hurricanes that extended Boston's winning streak to eight. 

BRUINS RECORD: 20-3-5 (45 points)

HIGHLIGHTS

HALAK ROBS SVECHNIKOV ON THE BREAKAWAY:

SLAVIN'S DISALLOWED "GOAL" GOES THROUGH NETTING IN WILD PLAY:

CHARLIE COYLE BREAKS THE ICE:

DAVID KREJCI TIPS ONE HOME FOR 200TH NHL GOAL:

UP NEXT:
Vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Thursday, 7 p.m., NESN
Vs. Colorado Avalanche, Saturday, 7 p.m., NESN

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