Tuesday night’s game versus the Carolina Hurricanes turned out to be a ‘numbers’ game for the Bruins. First up was the final score of 2-0 in favor of Boston. Seeing the final score, one would think that it was an easy game for the Bs, rather than the hard fought defensive game it was. Two goals in the final five minutes of the game, just a bit over a minute apart, from Charlie Coyle and David Krejci, his 200th career goal, pushed the locals’ winning streak to eight games, and continued their season opening streak of not having lost a single game at home – in regulation time.
Next up goaltender Jaroslav Halak, played in his 500th game, making his presence known by stopping all 24 Hurricanes shots, to earn his 49th career shutout and improve his record to 7-1-3. Head coach Bruce Cassidy heaped praise on Halak stating, “He battles hard in there. In my opinion, he’s a number one goalie in this league, and he’s proven that. He plays great for us, gives us a chance to win every night. So for us, for a coach, for players out there, knowing it doesn’t matter who goes in the net, you’re going to get quality goaltending.”
Cassidy also had some kind words for Krejci on scoring his 200th career goal, “I’m happy for him. He’s an unselfish guy, would rather pass first anyway, look after his teammates that way. Nice goal to score, going to the net too. Both of them were like that eventually, we got some separation. Took us a while, but tight checking game, so good for David. Good guy, good pro, good teammate. Happy for him.”
Patrice Bergeron was missing from the lineup for the fifth straight game, since suffering a lower body injury. It was odd not to see a goal from David Pastrnak, who has been on a hot streak that has produced 25 goals (28 games), but in his defense, his scoring ability has put a bull’s-eye on his jersey, and teams are now targeting and double—teaming him more often and physically.
Third-period heroics are becoming commonplace for the Bruins, as they seem to be able to muster a second effort and create an attack to earn a win or a tie late in the game. Cassidy summed it up with, “It shows that we’re conditioned, and we have will, both. We know how to play when the game is on the line. We’ve really stepped it up when we needed to. It’s the sign of a good team. No team is going to have it together for 60 minutes every night, we’ve talked about that, but I thought everyone was involved, did their job, and that’s why it was a great team victory tonight.” Third period numbers this season are impressive, as the Bruins have a major edge in outscoring their opponents 39-20 in the final stanza. Boston’s defense continues to be strong as well, with the usual suspects Zdeno Chara, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug allowing opponents little space and time. The win Tuesday night allowed the Bruins to reach the 20-victory plateau and remain at the top of the NHL standings, and the Eastern Conference standings.
The remaining two games on this current homestand will include visits from the still struggling Chicago Blackhawks (Thursday at 7:00pm), riding a three-game losing streak, and the Colorado Avalanche, (three-game winning streak), on Saturday at 7:00pm. Looming on the horizon is a, four games in six days road trip against four Eastern Conference teams, beginning on Tuesday, December 9th vs. Ottawa Senators (five-game losing streak), followed by back-to-back games with the Metropolitan Division leading Washington Capitals on Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, and end with the Florida Panthers on Saturday.