There is a scarce number of games that the Boston Bruins will play that can be considered "must watch." It does not necessarily have to do with star power or even an intense divisional score to settle, but it has everything to do with the potential contest that will result when two great teams clash.
Tuesday night was one of those moments, and we are only 20 games into the 2014-15 NHL season.
The B's remained at home for a great matchup against the St. Louis Blues, one of the best teams in the NHL. They roll four lines, have excellent depth on defense, and top-notch goaltending--all of this has resulted in a top spot in the Central Division thus far. Both teams have aspirations of being playoff bound this year, so a cross-conference game early on in the year never hurts.
David Krejci was back in the lineup for Boston, which was huge since he would be opposing young stud Vladimir Tarasenko (he leads St. Louis with 21 points). Also, it was great to have his offense back because the Blues lead the league in goals against average. However, Brad Marchand was not in the lineup due to an undisclosed injury.
In the first period, the Bruins capitalized on some St. Louis miscues. The Blues just did not look comfortable and that was because of the B's intense forecheck. The best in the NHL at disrupting the offensive flow of the opposition (Patrice Bergeron) intercepted a pass and one-timed the puck home for the 1-0 lead.
The second period was a totally different story; St. Louis dominated the middle frame from a possession standpoint. The physicality picked up as well, which was no surprise considering the construction of these two teams. The Bruins, led by Tuukka Rask, were able to remain composed and survived an onslaught created by the Blues...so much so that they grabbed another goal scored by Torey Krug.
In the third period, the Bruins got out-shot 15-3 and were taken off-guard by the Blues. Rask was forced to be the Tuukka that we all know and love, stopping all 33 shots he faced in the game. The Bruins won this game by a score of 2-0, shutting out one of the hottest offensive teams in the league.
The Bruins will play their next game on Friday night on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets, followed by a home game on Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Gold Star: Matt Bartkowski.....No, you are not seeing things. He has played out of his mind over the last couple of games, but this was his best game in quite some time. Not only did he record his first point of the season in the form of an assist, but he was sacrificing his body to make great defensive plays. Unreal.
Black Star: Adam McQuaid.....He left the game early in the second period after he took a shot off the arm. The guy just cannot stay healthy. Enough is enough with him. It is time to move on.
Game Twenty Box Score