Extra Beats: Bruins Snap Two-Game Skid; Beat Hurricanes 4-3 In OT

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The Boston Bruins still haven’t lost more than two games straight as they snapped a two-game skid Tuesday at TD Garden with a 4-3 come-from-behind, overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy (goal; assist) continued his Calder Trophy push with the overtime winner 1:08 into the extra frame.

Newly acquired forwards Rick Nash (goal) and Tommy Wingels (goal; assist), shined in their TD Garden debuts, but it was Riley Nash (goal; assist), filling in for the injured Patrice Bergeron, who answered the bell and helped his team to a much-needed two points that pulled the B’s to within one point of the Maple Leafs who lost 3-2 in overtime at Florida.

Forward Jake DeBrusk chipped in with two assists and continues to gel with newcomer Rick Nash, while goalie Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for the win.

1.) Wingels Makes Sweeney Look Even Better

With a goal and an assist, Wingels made the already widely praised Bruins GM look even better. Acquired for a fifth round pick from the Blackhawks just as the NHL Trade Deadline struck at 3 PM Monday, Wingels was thrown into the lineup thanks to Bergeron’s absence and the unheralded deadline acquisition answered the bell with a goal and an assist. What was equally and maybe even more impressive though, was Wingels’ speed and hustle. The 29-year old former Miami Of Ohio University star and 2016 6th round pick by the San Jose Sharks, could just prove to be one of those unheralded but key deadline acquisitions with the experience and versatility he brings and as he proved with his second period goal that tied the game at 3, he can snipe!

2.) Riley Nash Says Don’t Forget About Me!

Yes the Bruins just acquired the biggest free agent rental on the trade market in Rick Nash, but Riley Nash – who was filling in for the injured Bergeron on the first line – made sure Bruins fans didn’t forget there was already another Nash on the roster.

Hurricanes forward Sebastien Aho had just given his team a 3-1 lead over the Bruins with 56 seconds left in the first period and it was looking like the home team had fallen into the customary first game back from a long road trip trap. That’s when Riley stepped up and pulled the Bruins within one with three seconds left in the opening frame.

The versatile center would also end up assisting on the overtime winner with a steal and feed up to the streaking McAvoy who buried it by Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling. Nash now has a career high eleven goals on the season.

3.) McAvoy Shooting More And #Winning

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has been urging McAvoy to shoot more and that’s what he has done in the last two games with five shots and two goals after a 24-game scoring drought. McAvoy also assisted on Wingels’ game-tying goal. If the rookie sensation can continue to chip in with more goals, it will help a forward group that will likely be in flux for at least the next two weeks with Bergeron out of the lineup.

4.) Rick Nash Delivers In Garden Debut

Rick Nash wasn’t bad in his first game as a Bruin in a 4-1 loss at Buffalo Sunday with five shots, but on Tuesday he showed why Sweeney was willing to pay a hefty price for the impending unrestricted free agent rental. Nash scored his first goal as a Bruin and 19th of the season for his 800th career point, but he also saved a goal and was an all-around force with five more shots, four scoring chances and eight attempts.

5.) DeBrusk Finding Chemistry With Nash

When the Bruins acquired Rick Nash, the main story was that he would help center David Krejci elevate his game again; but through Nash’s first two games, it has been DeBrusk who has benefitted most from the prized trade acquisition. The rookie winger had two helpers Tuesday, including a helper on Wingels’ game-tying goal. There were numerous reports that if the Bruins wanted highly coveted defenseman Ryan McDonagh in a trade wit the Rangers, New York wanted DeBrusk as part of the return. Sweeney wouldn’t budge, keeping DeBrusk and McDonagh ended in up with division rival Tampa Bay, but so far DeBrusk isn’t letting Sweeney regret not shipping him to the Rangers.

6.) With Bergeron Out Cassidy Forced To Shuffle Lines

With his best and most dependable player out of the lineup, Cassidy was forced to shuffle his lines again. Given his defensive responsibility – and as mentioned above, offensive prowess this season – Cassidy decided Riley Nash would be the best fit on the top line between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Here’s what the forward lines and defensive pairings looked like.

Forwards

Marchand-Riley Nash-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Rick Nash

Danton Heinen-David Backes-Wingels

Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari

Defense

Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller