What started off as a sloppy start to the middle 20 turned into a pretty solid ending.
After giving up goals by Maple Leafs forwards Joffery Lupul (his fourth of the year at 2:04, a power play tally) and Nikolai Kulemin (his fifth on an easy breakaway), the TD Garden got a Milan Lucic sighting as he scored his fifth of the year – and his first in 15 games (since Feb. 24th against the Florida Panthers) – to cut the Boston Bruins’ deficit to 2-1 after 40 minutes. Here are my three observations from the second period.
1. Looks like Lucic is back to playing with a chip on his shoulder. It’s no secret that good things happen when he is physically engaged and creating opportunites. His fellow linemates, Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron tally an assist on Lucic’s goal, which is an added bonus. This is the first game that the three have been together as a unit, but so far the third line is looking solid firing five shots. And the Bruins seem to be feeding off that as they’ve dictated the tempo since the Lucic tally.
2. So much for giving Andrew Ference and Aaron Johnson a little bit of praise during the first intermission. There’s a reason why the two are paired on the bottom defensive unit and they certainly have their hands full matching up with Kulemin, Lupul and Nazem Kadri. Don’t believe me? Just look at the goal by Kulemin at 8:01. Even in his second game of the season, one has to wonder if Matt Bartkowski would fare better, especially since he’s paired with Dennis Seidenberg.
3. I have to say it looked like the linsemen missed an offsides call, and it led to Lupul’s goal. From my view in the press box, it looked like Jake Gardiner, who tallied an assist seconds later, was offsides and even after watching the replay on DVR it still looked like the puck skipped over the blue-line. It’s a judgement call obviously, but those are just my two cents.