Bruins Blow Another Big Lead But Manage to Hang on for 5-4 Win Over Vegas Knights

The Boston Bruins found themselves in a place they’d been all too frequently of late. Hanging on for dear life late after having blown yet another multi-goal lead.

But a power play goal from Mason Lohrei with less than 5 minutes remaining gave Boston a 5-4 lead. This lead the Bruins did not squander as they were able to hang on to record their first regulation win in their last 10 games in a 5-4 win over the Golden Knights Thursday at TD Garden.

Boston started the game strong, controlling the offensive zone possession time and heavily outshooting Vegas 16-8 in the frame. But it would take 15 plus minutes to break through as Morgan Geekie scored his first of 3 goals on the night, en route to his first career NHL hat trick.

“It was good. It’s something that you don’t ever really think about coming into a game, but it’s always fun, especially when you get 2 points, for sure,” Geekie said. “So, it was good to close that one out, especially the way we’ve finished the last couple games.”

The first goal came off a nice feed from Trent Frederic to spring Geekie on a breakaway. Geekie did the rest roofing a shot glove side past Vegas goalie Adin Hill.

Boston made it 2-0 30 seconds later when Jesper Boqvist one timed a nice feed out front from Jakub Lauko past Hill low blocker side for this fourth goal of the season. Lauko returned to the lineup after sitting for three of the Bruins last four games.

Just over a minute later Geekie tallied his second of the night as the Bruins broke out 3 on 2 off a Vegas offensive zone turnover. Pastrnak found Geekie in the left slot and he did the rest, wripping a wrister past hill for his second of the night and the Bruins third in a span od two minutes and 20 seconds.

Tilted ice in the second period as Vegas put the Bruins on their heels. The Golden Knights Vegas outshot Boston 15-7 in the frame and cut the Bruins lead to 3-2 on goals from Paul Cotter and Alex Pietrangelo.

But it was Geekie to the rescue once again. The Bruins forward tipped in a shot from David Pastrnak for his third of the night giving the Bruins a 4-2 lead. The Knights Michael Amadio closed the scoring in the period to make it 4-3 entering the final 20 minutes. This marked the eighth straight game where the Bruins have given up three or more goals and the first time since Feb. 11, 2017. The last time that happened, the Bruins fired their coach, given Claude Julien the axe midseason.

Vegas tied the game on a shorthanded breakaway goal by Chandler Stephenson following some poor offensive zone play by David Pastrnak who failed to keep the puck in the zone. Stephenson pounced on the loose puck and beat Jeremy Swayman top shelf to tie the game at 4 just over five minutes into the third.

It stayed that way until Lohrei’s game winner, a beautiful one timer from the right slot off a feed from Kevin Shattenkirk which beat Hill 5 hole. This was the Bruins rookie’s first goal in 14 games and the first power-play goal of his career.

“I mean, unbelievable,” he said. “First one here at the Garden. So, one I’ll remember forever, but I kind of just blacked out after I saw that it went in.”

Holding onto the lead was far from a breeze as the Bruins had to fend off a Vegas power play and a full minute plus of an extra attacker with an empty net. Swayman came up with 32 saves on the night including a couple big ones late to seal the victory.

The win was the 100th of Jim Montgomery’s Bruins career. Something he credits to the quality of the team he inherited to begin last season.

“It means that I coach a team that’s had a great roster both years,” said Montgomery.  “And that I work for a great organization. I’m very honored to work for the Spoked-B.”

The win puts the Bruins back atop the Eastern Conference with 84 points, tied with Florida. Boston will be back in action Saturday, Mar. 2 as they travel to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders at 7:30 p.m. EST.



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