If there’s one thing the 2017-18 Boston Bruins have been good at, it’s responding with gut check wins following ugly and sometimes embarrassing performances in a loss. After laying a collective egg in a 6-1 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver Saturday, the Bruins once again responded in 2-1 overtime win over the Flames Monday afternoon at the Olympic Saddledome in Calgary. The Bruins haven’t lost two straight games since December 14 (vs Capitals) and December 16 (vs Rangers).
Tuukka Rask was huge down the stretch and in overtime (five saves) and Brad Marchand scored the winner off a beautiful pass from Riley Nash 3:36 into the extra frame. David Pastrnak scored the first goal for the Bruins to give them an early lead 5:59 into the game and Matthew Tkachuk scored a powerplay goal 5:28 into the second period to tie it at one for the Flames.
This guy was 🔥 in OT. pic.twitter.com/Z8rJxAeE0p
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 19, 2018
Here’s your Extra Beats for the Bruins’ first win on their current five-game roadie that heads to Edmonton for a tilt with Conor McDavid, old friend Milan Lucic and the Oilers Tuesday night.
1.) Rask Silences Haters Once Again
When Tuukka Rask was battling through a funk in the first month of the season, the Rask haters were out in fill force, but in early November, Rask went on a tear that with the exception of a few interruptions (February 10 vs Buffalo and Saturday at Vancouver), hasn’t stopped. On Monday, Rask once again silenced the critics that say “he can never make timely saves” or “Tuukka never steals games” with 28 saves, including five in overtime and 12 in the 3rd period. Rask stopped Flames star Johnny Gaudreau numerous times and stood on his head to help his team get a much-needed win. Rask is now 24-10-4 with a 2.17 GAA and .973 save percentage.
A small snippet of the sustained pressure Tuukka Rask faced from the #Flames tonight. They were relentless in third and OT. The #NHLBruins defense struggled to contain their forwards down low repeatedly. The Bruins two points tonight belong to Tuukka, no doubt about it. pic.twitter.com/QiHB8s1S5Q
— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) February 19, 2018
2.) Marchand Gets Off The Schneid
Since returning to the lineup following a five-game suspension for elbowing and concussing Devils forward Marcus Johansson January 23 – in which he scored in a 3-2 Bruins win – Marchand hadn’t lit the lamp and was mired in a five-game goalless drought. The pesky winger picked the perfect time to snap out of it with the winner Monday and no has 22 goals on the season to lead his team. Marchand had definitely been pressing of late, but he didn’t let the frustration affect him on the game-winner in overtime.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 20, 2018
3.) Pastrnak Responding Since Demotion A Week Ago
Pastrnak scored his 22nd goal of the season Monday but it was his 200-foot game that was even more impressive in Calgary. Ironically it was six days ago against the Flames in a 5-2 Bruins win that head coach Bruce Cassidy demoted Pastrnak to the third line after the winger was a turnover machine and undisciplined in the first period. This time around in Calgary, Pastrnak played a much more responsible and tenacious game, and that translated into a goal for the Czech winger.
4.) McQuaid Always Ready To Defend His Teammates
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid is never afraid to defend teammates and when he felt the Flames had been taking liberties early in the second period in an effort to swing the momentum, he answered the bell again. McQuaid’s dance partner and victim Monday was Flames forward Garnet Hathaway.
Adam McQuaid and Garnet Hathaway hug it out for a little until McQuaid can free his fist to knock Hathaway downhttps://t.co/abPA4e1S6f
— StanleyCup ofChowder (@cupofchowdah) February 19, 2018
5.) Bruins Play Heavy Again
The Western Conference is known to have a “heavy” style of play with constant forechecking and physical play and at times, the Bruins have had trouble matching that heavy game against Western Conference opponents. More and more though, they seem up to the task and that again was the case on Monday as despite being out-hit 25-15, they didn’t back down from the Flames or any intimidation. This will be huge going forward as the stretch run and Stanley Cup playoffs tend to be played this way.
After a rare off night in Vancouver Saturday the Bruins’ and potentially the league MVP was back to form on Monday assisting on Pastrnak’s first period goal and playing his usual complete, 200-foot game. Bergeron now has 25 helpers and 27 goals for 52 points and the MVP talk is gaining steam as this tweet from Montreal Canadiens beat writer and columnist for Recrutes.ca showed.
Bergeron to me should win the Hart this year. Never has a line dominated like this. Never has a center dominated the other center he’s matched up against like this.
They’ve been on for how many goals against now. Incredible stat.
— Brian Wilde (@BWildeRecrutes) February 19, 2018
Bonus Lucky #7 Beat!
If you live in the Greater Boston area and are free next Monday afternoon, swing by Donohue’s Bar and Grill as I’ll be hosting a live NHL Trade Deadline Show there and on CLNS Media! Big thanks to our Executive Producer at CLNS, Tommy White and Donohue’s owner JD for helping to organize what promises to be a fun event!