Every time you want to give up on this team, they reel you back in.
In a must-win game against one of the top (and hottest) teams in the league, the St. Louis Blues, your Boston Bruins laid it all on the line and walked away with a 6-5 win Friday night on the road.
The Blues entered Friday having only allowed ONE GOAL in their previous FIVE games. The Bruins entered Friday having only scored 10 goals in their previous seven games. I don’t think there is anyone in the world who would have predicted that the B’s would put up six goals in this game, but they somehow pulled it off.
And thank the Hockey Gods they did, because had the Bruins not taken two points out of this game, they would not be third in the Atlantic anymore, since the Red Wings defeated the Wild and would have leapfrogged them. With four games remaining, the Bruins still control their own fate, and remain one point ahead of Detroit.
As for the game, it was as much of an emotional roller coaster as you’ll experience in a regular season game, and had its fair share of action.
The Blues took the lead 14:04 into the first period when a poor decision by Adam McQuaid to pinch in the offensive zone gave the Blues a two-on-one that they made no mistake on, with Jaden Schwartz beating Rask on a one-timer.
Desperation mode quickly kicked in once the B’s found themselves behind, and Loui Eriksson answered just 41 seconds later. John-Michael Liles, who was a game-time decision, hit Loui with a beautiful stretch pass through the neutral zone, springing him for a breakaway. Eriksson fired a wrister through Brian Elliott’s legs to knot the game at one apiece.
This was Loui’s 28th goal of the season, as he continues to silence his critics. He would later add an assist, which marked the 500th point of his NHL career.
Momentum swung in Boston’s favor in the following shifts, and just 1:50 later, a Matt Beleskey slapshot left a rebound out front for David Krejci, who tucked it around the netminder to take the 2-1 lead.
The B’s held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, but I think we all knew that lead was far from safe. Blues center Paul Stastny scored to knot the game 2-2 just over five minutes into the middle frame.
Midway through the period, Krejci won an offensive zone faceoff back to Beleskey at the top of the circle, and he ripped a slapper top shelf to regain the lead.
Beleskey has been one of the Bruins most consistent skaters over the past month or so. He brings the energy every single night, and it is nice to see him rewarded with a goal. He has 15-22–37 totals on the year, and has fit in perfectly in Boston.
With just under five minutes left in the second, Frankie Vatrano finished off a slick play by Ryan Spooner and Lee Stempniak to give the Bruins a 4-2 lead.
A two-goal lead over the Blues seemed unheard of for this team, but THEN, they added *DJ Khaled voice* ANOTHER ONE. While on the power play in the final two minutes of the period, Krejci placed a perfect shot through traffic to beat Elliott, giving the B’s a 5-2 lead.
Krejci was a stud all night, and finished with two goals and two assists, for a career-high four points. At a time when they needed someone to step up and take charge, the Czech centerman did just that.
A three goal lead in the third period is easy enough to preserve, right? Not going to be that simple. St. Louis scored two goals in the first 7:38 of the final period to pull within one, making for an uneasy final 12:22. The Blues took a penalty in the final four minutes of regulation, and none other than the Perfect One, Patrice Bergeron, buried a rebound off the end boards to add an insurance goal.
The Blues added one more with 21 seconds remaining, but the B’s survived, claiming a well-earned two points.
Beating one of the league’s most well-rounded teams will definitely provide a confidence boost for the final week of the season, during which the B’s will face Chicago, Carolina, Detroit and Ottawa. None of the games will be easy, but they are all equally important.
There are some question marks on the back end, however, as Dennis Seidenberg did not play in this game, and then they lost Kevan Miller due to injury in the first period after this fall:
Hopefully their injuries are not too serious, but for now, we are left guessing.
Their already shaky defense is taking hits, but, if the offense stays hot, hellooo playoffs.
[Photo via bruins.nhl.com]