Costly mistakes and a lack of finish led to a 3-2 loss in San Jose to begin the California road trip.
The Florida Panthers beat the Habs (thanks for nothing, Montreal) to leapfrog the Bruins in the standings as the top seed in the Atlantic Division. Fortunately, the Lightning stayed put as they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs, of all teams.
This game was very winnable, especially after the first period that they put together.
After a missed assignment out front left Sharks forward Melker Karlsson all alone for the ice breaker 8:44 in, the Bruins responded well, scoring two goals of their own.
Less than three minutes later, David Pastrnak fired a low shot on net from the side boards, and James Reimer left a rebound in the slot for a streaking David Krejci. Krejci, who was questionable for the game, made no mistake and buried the rebound to knot the game at one.
Krejci has 15 goals on the season, and he is beginning to really gel with Pastrnak after they both struggled with the injury bug earlier in the year.
A soft hooking call on Jimmy Hayes put the Bruins down a man late in the first, but ultimately, justice prevailed. Krejci sprung Loui Eriksson on a breakaway with a beautiful backhand pass in the neutral zone, and the silky smooth Swede (try saying that three times fast) rifled a shot over Reimer’s blocker to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
Loui is closing in on the 30-goal mark, notching his 27th on Tuesday, while he continues his season of being the most under appreciated player on the team.
The Sharks tied the game midway through the second period on a cringeworthy sequence. San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillon fell at the Bruins blue line, and Brad Marchand jumped on the puck with a potential three-on-one forming, but he could not corral the puck, turning it over. The Sharks went right back up ice, and Brent Burns had his centering pass deflect off of Ryan Spooner’s stick and in. Woof.
With the game tied 2-2 6:37 into the third and the Sharks on the power play, Burns fed a circle-to-circle pass to Joel Ward, whose shot appeared to be going wide, but was tipped in by Joonas Donskoi for the go-ahead goal.
The Bruins put on a late surge, but the puck just wouldn’t go in for them. Krejci wound up on a breakaway in the final minutes, and had Reimer beat on the deke, but he sort of lost his handle on it and hit the side of the post. Then, in the final seconds, Torey Krug walked in from the blue line with a golden opportunity, but his wrister was gloved half a second before the final buzzer.
Frustrating way to lose a game, especially when it was potentially the “easiest” game of this trip. On the bright side, this is just their first regulation loss since the trade deadline, AND, Chara didn’t kill Bergeron with this shot.
[Photo via bruins.nhl.com]