Goaltending, offense, puck possession, defense, and quality scoring chances--these are all attributes that the Boston Bruins would like to possess right now, but they are struggling to find the answers.
Hope was at a premium earlier in the week, but after a two-game road trip to Eastern Canada in which they got outscored 11-2, something significant needs to happen with this team. With the loss to Montreal on Thursday night, they have fallen five points out of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Saturday afternoon was a chance to right the wrongs and get two points at home. They took on the Carolina Hurricanes in this matinee game.
The Hurricanes started out with a winless October, but have put together a record of 5-1-1 since then. This was not going to be an easy matchup for Boston. Both teams have a solid mixture of youth, skill, and veteran leadership, so this contest was going to be entertaining nonetheless.
Tuukka Rask was back in net for the Bruins. Matt Bartkowski also made his return to the lineup after being a health scratch for the last seven games.
In the first period, the Bruins were definitely the more physical team. Even players that you would not think to be dishing out hits were doing just that. By that same token, the Hurricanes controlled the puck by out-shooting the B's 16-7. But the Bruins grabbed the 2-1 lead after the first 20 minutes on goals by Seth Griffith and Patrice Bergeron.
Boston could not let up as they had the momentum headed into the second period. They were disciplined enough to kill off a key penalty and kept the shots to a minimum. No score changes in the period, but the Bruins played well through the first 40 minutes.
In the third period, the Canes started to shift the momentum in their favor. They tested Rask early on, but the defense was well positioned for him to make the saves manageable. When the time came to buckle down, Boston held its zone and kept the Hurricanes in check. The B's held on to win this game by a score of 2-1. Rask finished with 33 saves, while Brad Marchand picked up his 100th career assist on Bergeron's goal.
Even though this team was only coming off two-straight losses, it felt worse. This win was huge for the team's morale.
The Bruins will play their next game on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.
Gold Star: Milan Lucic.....Even though he did not produce any points, his compete level on this day was huge. This was a game where he led by example and his teammates followed suit.
Black Star: Torey Krug.....He has not been himself. He was too eager to pass off the puck instead of carrying it and he was not physical in the defensive zone.
Game Nineteen Box Score