The Boston Bruins had NO business winning on Tuesday night, overcoming not only a three-goal deficit but being completely dominated to score FIVE times in a span of 8:22 to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-4. David Pastrnak scored three times in the final period, with his game-winning goal coming on the power play with 3:30 left.
Here are my six Extra Beats on another miraculous comeback win which left anyone that watched it stunned and speechless.
That’s all I have to say about the final ten minutes of play. The Bruins were completely embarrassed during the majority of Tuesday’s contest, including a gross display in the second period that saw Carolina score three times and outshoot the B’s 18-6. A hustle play by the fourth line (yeah I know that’s not a surprise at all) sprung Matt Grzelcyk for a wrister that began the scoring barrage, and in a blink of an eye the score changed from 4-1 to 4-4. A silly penalty by Justin Faulk (more on penalties to come) gave Boston a power play, and a questionable non-call on a hand pass from David Krejci allowed the B’s to take the lead, scoring four goals in 6:26.
DAVID PASTRNAK! BRUINS TAKE THE LEAD LATE! WHAT AN UNREAL COMEBACK! pic.twitter.com/vN8rz2Itdi
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) March 14, 2018
David Pastrnak obtained his first career hat trick in just 7:26 in the third, capping it with an empty-net goal to give Boston one of the most unlikely wins in recent memory. You never want to see the Bruins having lengthy lapses in effort, but if the Bruins have taught the fans anything this season, it is to not count them out in any situation regardless of how unlikely a comeback is. And this one was nearly impossible.
DAVID PASTRNAK ANSWERS THE CALL AND FINISHES THE EMPTY NETTER FOR A HATTY!
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) March 14, 2018
- Tuukka Rask was the unsung hero of the night.
Rask may have allowed four goals for the third time in his last five starts, but things could have been a lot worse if not for some great stops during the first two periods. Rask was clearly the best Bruin on the ice until that late scoring outburst, and his stats won’t do justice to his performance. Carolina spent what seemed like the entire middle period in the Boston zone, and while saying Rask limited them to three goals sounds silly, it’s exactly what happened. He made a couple big saves in the first too, including one on Jeff Skinner with less than a minute remaining that led to Boston’s first goal. This was Rask’s best overall performance in a few weeks, and without it Boston could not pick up the stunning win.
- With injuries mounting late, Matt Grzelcyk stepped up HUGE in the third period.
In the blink of an eye, Boston went from having six defensemen in the final period to having just four on the bench. Both Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara left with undisclosed injuries, and the B’s were clearly in need of someone to step up. While Nick Holden (24:05) and Kevan Miller (22:07) led the way in ice time, Grzelcyk led the way offensively with the goal to spark the comeback and an assist on Pastrnak’s PP game-winning goal. Grzelcyk hasn’t flashed much offense this season, but does have two goals and four assists with a +7 rating in his last 14 games, and had been on the ice for over 18 minutes in each of the last four contests. He looked extremely comfortable on the power play, replacing Krug on the first unit, and has two PP assists in his last three games.
- Self-inflicted wounds nearly cost Boston a chance at shocking the ‘Canes.
Boston didn’t help its own cause in the first two periods by taking silly and unnecessary penalties, which has been costing them in recent games. Zdeno Chara earned a delay of game call at 10:28 of the second when his clearing attempt went over the boards, and Marchand followed it up with an unnecessary trip during the power play, which set up Carolina’s first 5-on-3 goal of the year – and the first 5-on-3 goal allowed by the B’s Chara’s double-minor for high-sticking late in Sunday’s game was the difference in Boston’s 3-1 loss, with the B’s allowing two PP goals and one in the vulnerable minute after Chara left the box. Boston did have one of the strongest penalty kill units in the league prior to the last couple weeks, and several of these penalties are preventable. Winning without key contributors is hard enough at even strength, so Boston really needs to focus on cutting down the power-play chances for their opponents.
- Boston is clearly missing Patrice Bergeron, with the faceoff dot becoming an issue.
The absence of Patrice Bergeron is evident in many aspects of the game, but one of the biggest ones is on faceoffs. Boston struggled mightily against Carolina at the dot, winning just 39% of faceoffs on Tuesday night. David Krejci (39%), Sean Kuraly (33%), Riley Nash (28%) and Danton Heinen (0%) failed to do their jobs at the dot, with a majority of the faceoffs in the first two periods located in or near the Bruins zone. As if the penalties and shoddy effort wasn’t bad enough, the faceoff losses gave the Hurricanes yet another big advantage throughout most of this game. Since February 27th – the date the news broke of Bergeron’s injury – Boston is 29th in the NHL in faceoff wins (44.9%), compared to 51.5% prior to his absence.
- The B’s need to build off the final ten minutes, but never replicate the first 50 again.
While the ending of Tuesday’s contest was phenomenal, the Bruins need to focus on what in the world happened (or didn’t happen) prior to that comeback that put them in a three-goal deficit which should have been even worse. There was little to no effort, the B’s were sloppy with the puck, they couldn’t make any plays in their own end, and they barely produced odd-man rushes or quality scoring chances throughout the first 50 minutes. Boston was very fortunate to earn two points, but this lack of effort and intensity needs to disappear prior to the postseason starting, or else there will be a disappointing end to what looks like a special season.