You can’t script it any better.
One night after their 5-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins found a way to beat the San Jose Sharks.
It was a night where the Sharks were swarming around the sluggish B’s seemingly throughout Thursday’s contest. But despite being outshot 39-17, Tuukka Rask stood on his head, Jarome Iginla scored his first as a Bruin and David Krejci netted a game-winner with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to give the Black and Gold the 2-1 victory and hand San Jose its first regulation loss of the year.
Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s dramatics.
Tuukka saves the day
Thursday’s matchup was a chance for Rask and fellow Finnish goalie Antti Neimi to showcase their talents for Team Finland’s Olympic team. And boy, did Rask put on a show.
Rask stopped 38 shots and stymied the Sharks throughout the contest. But, with the Bruins having tired legs, particularly in the first period, another fine performance from Rask was absolutely needed.
“I just wanted to get a good start,” said Rask, who made his first start since Saturday’s 5-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Sometimes it’s better when you face a lot of shots in the first period, you kind of get yourself in the game if you were able to save the pucks.
“It’s more of a mental challenge, to force yourself to be at work and fully aware of what’s going on out there. Lucky that they had so many shots and I was able to save all of them in the first.”
On a night where the Bruins didn’t play their best hockey, and on a night where the Sharks kept the pressure on, it was a welcome sight to see Tuukka come through in another masterful performance.
Iginla off the schneid
His first goal as a Bruin was taken away from him Wednesday night, but Iginla finally got off the schneid 24 hours later.
Iginla’s goal was indeed very timely. With the Bruins starting to buzz, the former Calgary Flame got a good bounce tallied that elusive first tally with 1:12 left in the second period.
“It’s been longer than I would have liked, but it sure felt good to get it there and get it at home and it being a tight game and obviously being a good bounce,” Iginla said on getting his first goal nine games into the 2013-14 season. “It wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it, but at this point you take anything or anytime actually you take any of them, but it was a good bounce.”
Ironically enough, Iginla’s tally snapped Niemi’s shutout streak of 119:52. The last goal Niemi gave up? Oct. 19 against Calgary’s Jiri Hudler.
Moreover, Iginla’s goal put the B’s at an advantage heading into the third, and marked the first time where San Jose trailed after two periods.
The way the Bruins were playing, The Hub of Hockey would have been happy with Tuukka and company stealing a point. Krejci, however, had other ideas.
With the time ticking toward overtime, defenseman Adam McQuaid wristed one from the point in front of several bodies. Eventually, the puck found Krejci’s stick for the deflection past Niemi and, instead of settling – or stealing – one point, the B’s committed robbery and came away with two points.
“Lucky. It was a lucky goal,” Krejci said about the game-winner. “Shot at the net, tried to get stick on it and it worked this time.”
It’s not often you see someone score a game-winner with less than a second left. Don’t believe me? Just ask Milan Lucic, who tallied the secondary assist on Krejci’s second of the year.
“Tough to say. Not with that little time left,” he said. “Honestly, when the rush started I had no idea how much time was left on the clock. It was probably better because when I got the puck back in the corner on the forecheck, I probably should’ve thrown it on net and tried to create a play there. But instead, I was able to find Quaider and Quaider did a great job of getting the puck to the net, and obviously getting the tip for the game-winning goal.”
Good thing, Milan. Good thing, indeed.