It wasn’t a complete 60-minute effort, but the Bruins got back to basics.
Behind Brad Marchand’s first goal in over a month, Torey Krug’s hot hand and Tuukka Rask’s 23 saves, the B’s got a 4-1 victory over the lowly Florida Panthers Thursday night at the TD Garden. Here are five takeaways from the victory.
Missed call, but Winchester should get call from Shanahan
Still recovering from a lower-body injury, Tim Thomas did not get the start against his former squad. But it didn’t take long for the fireworks to go off.
Nearly five minutes into the contest, Jesse Winchester left his feet and leveled Chris Kelly with an elbow to the face, which did not get a call from the officials. Kelly managed to return shortly after and Winchester found himself dropping the gloves with Gregory Campbell in retaliation.
Whether he gets suspended or not, Brendan Shanahan should at least look into the hit. Regardless, Claude Julien was relieved that things didn’t get worse.
“I don’t know what the league is going to do with it and we’re kind of thankful he came back and was only gone for a few minutes,” said the Bruins bench boss. “Those are the kind of things that are dangerous in our game.”
Winchester did get his fourth of the year at 14:25 of the third, but Kelly and his team got the last laugh. And that’s all that matters for now.
Bruins wake up in second period
It sure looked like the B’s were sleepwalking in the first period. During the opening 20 minutes, they were outshot 8-7 and, just like their previous five contests, looked like they were heading in the wrong direction.
But then they woke up. They went back to playing Black and Gold hockey and dominated their Atlantic Division foes. And David Krejci’s goal at 7:17 of the middle stanza was just a small sample.
With fellow top line compadres Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic screening goalie Scott Clemmensen, Krejci found his way to the point after a great pinch by Dougie Hamilton. Zdeno Chara took the feed from Hamilton and fed Krejci, who fired one past Clemmensen for his third of the year.
That, combined with some great puck movement and Shawn Thornton’s fight with Krys Barch later in the second period, gave the Bruins some needed adrenaline after a slow start.
“It wasn’t a great start, but it was pretty good,” said Torey Krug, who scored his sixth goal of the season to tie Erik Karlsson for tops among defensemen.
“We moved the puck pretty well and that’s one of the things we talked about was our breakouts – making sure they were really clean. As the period went on we got better with that, and from the second period on our breakouts were great and we were moving the puck crisply.”
Marchand finally gets one
Marchand scored his first goal of the season in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. After that, the “little ball of hate” was everything but his moniker tallying just three more assists and four points in the month of October.
But things started to come around for Marchand. Despite being held pointless against Dallas, he reverted back to the “little ball of hate” moniker by going into the corners, winning battles for loose pucks and setting up his fellow linemates – Loui Eriksson and Patrice Bergeron – for scoring chances. Two nights later, Marchand, under the pronunciation of March-And, finally got the monkey off his back with his second goal of the year to give the B’s a 2-0 lead at 4:06 of the third period.
“I think he scored the way he knows how to score,” Julien said about Marchand. “[He] made a great play at the blueline and then just skated to the net and was able to jump on that loose puck. He talked about moving his feet and when he moves his feet he creates things and he scores himself some goals too.”
Marchand wasn’t the only Bruin to go through a dry spell. During the first few weeks, Iginla was held scoreless until finally scoring against the San Jose Sharks on October 24. Things were rolling for Iginla afterwards scoring in each of his next two games.
Sometimes, goals come in bunches, and perhaps that sentiment will hold true for Marchand after Thursday’s performance.