Playing without their captain and franchise defensemen Zdeno Chara, the Boston Bruins battled back from a two-goal deficit against the St. Louis Blues before losing in overtime 3-2 on a goal by U.S. Olympian T.J. Oshie.
|photo by M. Bucker/Getty Images|
David Krejci and Brad Marchand scored the two goals for the Bruins.
Playing without Chara, and just three days from an extended time off (for some), the Bruins showed a lot of heart in battling back against a very good St. Louis team on the road.
Alexander Steen opened the scoring for the game by bagged his 28th of the year, taking advantage of a bad line change by Kevan Miller and Matt Bartkowski before crashing the zone and blasting a slapshot past the far side of Tuukka Rask.
The Blues held the lead into the second period, and Jaden Schwartz extended the lead at 3:32, using Miller as a screen to rip a wrist-shot past over the shoulder of Rask. It may have taken a deflection on its way to the net, but regardless, it was a rather deflating goal for Tuukka to give up. Miller also was at fault for not closing down on Schwartz, and instead gave him the open space to let the shot go.
|photo via M. Buckner/Getty Images|
But the Bruins kept shooting and kept fighting, and finally broke through with David Krejci's 13 of the year at 9:16 of the third. Off the face-off win in their own zone, the top line of Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla all made the play happen, with Lucic driving the net providing a screen, and Iginla giving a drop-pass to Krejci at the blueline where he ripped it through the bodies and into the net.
Brad Marchand tied the game at two just two minutes later with his 18th of the year, being in the right place at the right time after a Johnny Boychuck slapshot from the blueline dented off the boards and straight to Marchand. BM63 righted himself and wristed a tough-angle snipe to beat Halak just under the crossbar. The assists went to Boychuck and Krug, but Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron deserve a ton of credit for cycling inside the zone for a good amount of time before Marchand struck.
After being stifled for much of the game, and getting "out-Bruin'ed" by the Blues, the B's broke through in the third and fought St. Louis to overtime.
The best chance for the Bruins in OT came from Jarome Iginla, who had a wide-open net to slap home the game-winner, but Alex Pietrangelo swooped in and stick-checked Iginla at the last mili-second.
T.J. Oshie got the real game-winner, beating Rask after a major defensive breakdown in the Bruins' zone by Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. Soderberg tried to bank the puck around the boards, but Oshie blocked it off before getting to the dirty area and pushing it past the post and Rask's pads. Kelly jumped at the blueline just before, putting him out of position and freeing up the eventual space in front of the net.
So the Bruins' comeback fell short, but they'll leave St. Louis with a point and head home to play their last game before the Olympic break Saturday vs the Senators.
- This is the first time all year the Bruins have comeback from a two-goal deficit. But, they still lost. Oh well.
- Tuukka Rask did not have a great night against the Blues, as all three goals he gave up were rather weak, especially the game-winner in OT. Rask has to be able to hold the post against one player jamming. The goals in regulation were not pretty, as he was out of position on Steen's blast from just inside the face-off circle.
- With Zdeno Chara off to Sochi, Johnny Boychuck was placed in his role as the #1 D-man. Boychuck only logged 19:45 minutes, putting him behind Matt Bartkowski (23:20), Doug Hamilton (22:10) and Torey Krug (20:03) for the lead on D. Boychuck would have logged more time if he did not serve a four-minute double roughing minor for taking on T.J. Oshie late in the second period.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs did the Bruins a favor by beating the Lightning 4-1, and with the point in OT, the Bruins now sit seven points ahead in the Atlantic Division.