3 Bruins’ Takeaways From 4-3 Overtime Win Over Wild

Ten days into the 2022-23 NHL season, it’s a safe bet that the Boston Bruins are the biggest surprise. Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy have yet to play a game as they recover from offseason surgeries, while Brandon Carlo has been out with an upper-body injury for seven days and Matt Grzelcyk has played in just two of the first six games. All of that adversity has not stopped the Black and Gold from leading the league with five wins in six games.

Related: 4 Bruins Off to Surprising Strong Starts Early in 2022-23

For the second straight game in less than 48 hours, the Bruins went to overtime, this time on Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden with the Minnesota Wild, but unlike their 2-1 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 20, they made sure that there would be no shootout drama as Taylor Hall scored the game-winning goal with 10.7 seconds left in overtime for a 4-3 victory. Here are three takeaways as Boston wins the second game of a four-game homestand and withstands Minnesota’s rally from a 3-1 deficit.

Hampus Lindholm Continues Strong Start to the Season

How does the Bruins trade for Hampus Lindholm look now? With no McAvoy, Lindholm has taken on the load of logging big minutes each night, and against the Wild, it was no different. He finished with a time on ice of 25:20, playing in all situations. He also had four shots on the net and scored the third Bruins goal of the game in the second period for a 3-1 lead.

Hampus Lindholm Boston Bruins
Hampus Lindholm, Boston Bruins (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lindholm was acquired along with Kodie Curran last March from the Ducks for prospect Urho Vaakanainen, veteran John Moore, and the Bruins’ 2022 first-round pick and is averaging over 24 minutes a night so far this season. One day after acquiring Lindholm, he agreed to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension and he is earning every single dollar of his deal in his first full season in Boston. McAvoy is not expected back until late November at the earliest, but where would they be without Lindholm in the first six games?

Nick Foligno Continues to Look Like a Completely Different Player

One of the questions over last summer was whether or not Nick Foligno would be on the 2022-23 roster and if so, how would he look. There were different ways that general manager (GM) Don Sweeney could have gone with the veteran forward, either buy him out or trade him. Instead, Sweeney held onto him, and placed him on waivers at the end of training camp on Oct. 9. After going unclaimed, he returned to first-year coach Jim Montgomery and early this season, he looks like a lot different than the player who had two goals and 13 points in 64 games in 2021-22.

Nick Foligno, Boston Bruins
Nick Foligno, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Minnesota took an early 1-0 lead in the first period when Brandon Duhaime scored a shorthanded goal, but it was Foligno who answered right back to tie the game. Just after the penalty expired, Foligno took a pass from Pavel Zacha and beat Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot under the crossbar. It was his third goal of the season already and response that the Black and Gold needed. Yes, it’s only six games and a short sample size for Foligno, but he has become a vital part of the bottom six and a key member of the second power play unit.

Hall, Krejci & Pastrnak Becoming Tougher to Play Against

There is a lot to like about the Bruins’ top six when fully healthy and the second-line of Hall, David Krejci, and David Pastrnak is giving fans an early look at why they are going to be tough to play against. Against Minnesota, the line played a big part in the win even at strength and the power play.

Related: Bruins Exceeding Expectations Early in 2022-23 Season

Hall and Pastrnak each landed five shots on the net of the 43 Boston had. Hall used his speed in the first period down the right side and his shot deflected off of a defenseman and sat in front of the net where Pastrnak collected the loose puck and scored. In the second period, Pastrnak sent Hall in on a breakaway when he made a nice play at the defensive zone blueline and threaded a pass to Hall, but Fleury was able to make a save.

Fleury was not able to deny the trio in overtime on the power play. The Bruins got a power play with two minutes left and Montgomery used a four-forward unit that won the game. Krejci collected the puck just inside the Wild blueline, but the puck rolled off his stick to Pastrank who made a cross-ice pass to Hall who buried the game-winner.

Shorthanded Bruins Continue to Rack up Points

Five wins in six games and 10 out of a possible 12 points is a start to the season that not many saw coming outside of the Boston locker room. Without their top left wing and top defensemen, the goal of the Bruins is to stay within striking distance in the eastern Conference standings until they get healthy. So far so good as they are taking advantage of an early-season schedule with four home wins in four tries. They have two more home games against the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings before hitting the road where things get more difficult. The more points they can rack up early in the season, the better position they will be in when Marchand and McAvoy return.

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