Secondary scoring can win games? Who would have thought? Well, we might have mentioned it a time or two here, but the Boston Bruins finally were able to get some help on the score sheet outside of their top line. With goals from Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm in the third period, the Boston Bruins were able to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in their second meeting of the season.
The Bruins had a multitude of milestones that took place during Tuesday’s game as it served as Tuukka Rask’s 500th career game, Zdeno Chara’s 100th game against Toronto and Bruce Cassidy’s 200th game coaching the team. In addition, David Pastrnak was able to tally his 300th (and 301st) point of his career and the Bruins earned their 300th win against Toronto.
Prestigious Player: Tuukka Rask
As previously mentioned, Tuukka Rask appeared in his 500th career game for the Bruins, a franchise record. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 20, 2007, against the Toronto Maple Leafs, coincidentally the team that drafted him. Therefore, it was only fitting that he earned himself a victory, the same as he did 12 years ago in his debut game. Nothing says ‘look what you missed out on’ quite like stopping your former team from winning when the opportunity is presented.
With his victory Tuesday he now has 269 career wins, another franchise record as well as providing them with their 300th win against the Maple Leafs. When asked about what it meant to be embarking on this career milestone he stated;
“They say it’s like 1,000 games for the [position] players, so it’s a big milestone. You play 500 games as a goalie it’s going to take some years, so it just goes to show you how old I am, I guess. That’s about it. It goes by so quickly. You don’t pay attention to how many total games you’ve played until you’ve reached a milestone and then you start looking back and say, ‘Holy crap — it’s 500 games and 11 years or whatever.’ Time flies. I’m just grateful I’ve been part of this team for so long and that I’m still in it.”NBC Sports Boston
Defining Moment: Secondary Scoring
Secondary scoring won the game Tuesday as Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm etched their names onto the scoresheet in the third period. Ritchie was able to net a rebound goal after Jake DeBrusk’s initial shot was blocked and landed right in front of him, giving them the go-ahead goal and his second of the season.
After struggling throughout the last couple of games, the Bruins fourth line finally started to generate some point production. In the final minutes of the game (literally), a struggling Sean Kuraly and Par Lindholm teamed up for a two-on-one opportunity as Kuraly surged out of the penalty box. He initially took the shot with Lindholm getting the rebound for his first of the season and the final marker of the game.
Honorable Mention: Karson Kuhlman and Anders Bjork
The Bruins issued a statement regarding forward Karson Kuhlman during Tuesday night’s event stating that he would be out for the next four weeks after sustaining a hairline non-displaced fracture on his right tibia during Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs. After the four-week time frame, he is expected to be re-evaluated and gauged for a potential return.
With Kuhlman’s absence, the Bruins looked to Anders Bjork to fill in. The call up served as his first time dressing in the spoked-B this season and he had a fairly decent showing. He came out ready to play and looked fairly decent as far as his two-way play was concerned. While there were some noticeable improvements in his defensive game, he was on the ice for one of the Leafs goals and had a takeaway in the second, giving him a minus-one for the night. However, he did manage to get four shots on net with a total of 13:17 of ice time which is more than David Backes got to see.
Turning Point- David Pastrnak’s ‘Second’ Goal
After his first goal was turned away, Pastrnak did exactly what needed to be done. He didn’t let up and kept crashing the net. Only a few minutes after his first goal was overturned he went to the front of the net for Brad Marchand to find him. As Marchand entered the zone he shot a pass over to him, he dangled the puck between his legs and stuffed it five-hole on former Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson. The goal served as a confidence boost to the team and put them in a good position heading into the second period.
The goal also serves as Pastrnak’s 159th in his career putting him at the top of his 2014 draft class, 22 goals ahead of Leon Draisaitl.
Related Story: David Pastrnak’s Evolution From Prospect to Elite
By the Numbers: 3
The Bruins have had three goals taken back from them this season thus far. Two goals against the Colorado Avalanche were called back and tonight the Maple Leafs challenged the Bruin’s first goal of the game. The review determined that Patrice Bergeron’s skate was marginally over the line before Pastrnak entered the zone, thus causing him to be offside. The kicker to the call is that there were six scoring opportunities and substantial zone time prior to the goal being scored before there was any mention of being offsides.
Black Mark: Power Play Goals
While it’s great that the Bruins can score while on the man advantage, their power-play goals equivalate to 34.6% of their scoring. Nine out of their 26 goals from this season thus far have come from the man-advantage.
If the Bruins want to continue to be successful and especially if they want to avenge the Blues on Saturday they need to be able to score at even strength.