December 8, 2023


The Bruins got here again from a 2-0 deficit however might have misplaced two defensemen within the course of.

Pavel Zacha smiles as he sees his game-winner go previous Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. AP

Regardless of a battered backend and an early 2-0 deficit, the Boston Bruins managed to drag off a “character win” to proceed their season-opening level streak. 

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov opened the scoring as the sport started to open up within the first interval. Barkov capitalized on the 2-on-1 one by snapping a shot previous the glove of Linus Ullmark to provide Florida the opening tally at 6:13 of the primary interval. 

In an all-too-familiar sequence, the Panthers capitalized off of a brutal Boston turnover. Rookie Matt Poitras had one in all his first main ‘uh-oh’ performs of the season, as he had his pocket picked behind the Boston internet by Barkov, who fed Sam Reinhart to place Florida forward 2-0. 

The Bruins lastly bought on the board throughout a extra productive second interval. Following a robust drive to the web, Jake DeBrusk fed Boston captain Brad Marchand, who tapped in his fifth purpose of the season. 

“That was an incredible instance of us taking part in quick,” Montgomery mentioned. “It regarded like a 2-on-1, and Pasta [David Pastrnak] simply made an unbelievable artistic play, and Charlie [McAvoy], who’s been taking part in nice hockey, went in and made an incredible end on it.”

After a sleepy first half of the third interval, Pastrnak linked with McAvoy for one of many prettier objectives within the Bruins’ younger season.

As they continued to push for the go-ahead tally in the course of the second half of the third interval, the Bruins hit a big pace bump. Shortly after delivering the equalizer, McAvoy delivered an objectively soiled hit to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, leading to a match penalty.

Boston’s top-ranked penalty weathered the storm and killed off Florida’s five-minute man benefit, finally forcing time beyond regulation. 

Within the 3-on-3 further session, Pavel Zacha pushed the play up-ice in time beyond regulation and buried a wrister far aspect on Bobrovsky to safe Boston’s come-from-behind victory. 

“I used to be trying the place it was open,” Zacha mentioned of his time beyond regulation winner. “Far aspect, I went low blocker.”

Right here’s what we discovered because the Bruins jumped out to an 8-0-1 begin to their season. 

Boston’s backend passes one take a look at as one other problem awaits

The Bruins’ backend, comparatively wholesome by means of the primary eight video games of the season, took their first hit of the 12 months Monday evening. Matt Grzelcyk exited halfway by means of the primary interval and didn’t return for the remainder of the sport. 

Halfway by means of the third, the Bruins suffered one other doubtlessly vital loss on the blue line within the quick time period. With McAvoy’s match penalty, the Bruins needed to dig deep working with simply 4 defensemen for the final 10 minutes of regulation and time beyond regulation. 

“It was an enormous character win,” Montgomery mentioned. “We lose [Grzelcyk] midway by means of the primary, we’re down to 5 D. You bought the five-minute main you gotta kill off…simply super character by our 4 defensemen that gutted it out and likewise simply our crew getting back from nothing towards an actual good crew.”

With Hampus Lindholm and Kevin Shattenkirk having already taken shifts in time beyond regulation, the Bruins needed to resort to an unconventional technique, placing three forwards on the ice in time beyond regulation. It labored out for the trio, as Zacha scored the winner simply as a defenseman hopped again on the ice. 

Montgomery famous postgame that Grzelcyk’s damage was “upper-body, and it’s gonna be a few weeks it seems to be like.”

Moreover, a suspension for McAvoy seems doubtless, leaving the Bruins with out their prime defensive pair for a minimum of the quick time period. The Bruins will doubtless flip to Windfall for reinforcements, with former Blackhawk Ian Mitchell and prime prospect Mason Lohrei sitting atop the listing of potential callups. 

The Bruins discovered their sport within the second interval.

In a return to mid-April kind, the Bruins struggled mightily with Florida’s aggressive forecheck. Boston was outshot 16-6 within the first interval and trailed by two.

Slowly however absolutely, the Bruins constructed their sport up shift by shift starting within the second interval. 

“I believe we simply tried to simplify our sport,” Montgomery mentioned postgame. “Most likely had too many, you already know, careless performs within the center, both within the offensive zone or approaching the offensive blue line that led to them popping out wave after wave.”

The Bruins progressively discovered their stride all through the second interval and overcame the adversity of the third interval to come back out victorious. Boston made changes to counterattack Florida but in addition rode the momentum of some well timed stops by Ullmark, a string of heavy hits by Morgan Geekie and Shattenkirk, and, most significantly, their large third-period penalty kill. 

“We weren’t actually caring for pucks the way in which that we should always have been and supporting one another the correct means,” Marchand mentioned. “Undoubtedly one thing we will, you already know, perceive once we are available between intervals and take a look at our sport and make changes that make a distinction.”

The Bruins had been profitable in very systematic, accountable methods by means of their first eight video games of the season.

On Monday, they discovered one other approach to win – on the fly.