The Bruins began 2013 with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, The Hub of Hockey did not see them close out the calendar year with similar results to the Rangers’ cross-town rivals.
Thanks to several defensive breakdowns and lack of composure, the Islanders took advantage of their opportunities and, despite trailing by two goals in the second period, came away with a 5-3 victory that snapped the Bruins’ 15-game regulation unbeaten streak at the TD Garden. Here are three takeaways from the B’s second straight loss.
Krejci gets his 100th
For all the criticism he’s received in the past from Bruins fans about taking games off during the regular season, David Krejci sure has a few accolades to prove those naysayers wrong. That continued on New Years Eve as the Czech-born center tallied his 100th career regular season goal.
The first 100 goals are just a number for Krejci, though. And it didn’t make it any easier when the B’s blew their two-goal lead.
“It’s just a number,” Krejci said about the milestone. “It was nice to get 100 goals and hopefully there will be 100 more in my career. But it’s just a number.”
The Bruins assistant captain is playing some good hockey for the Bruins as the calendar turns to 2014.
Tuukka in midst of a slump, or is he…
Everything seemed to be going right for Tuukka Rask after Friday’s shutout over the Senators. The Bruins’ netminder earned his 20th victory of the year, 20th career shutout and seemingly was about to earn some time off.
But thanks to Dennis Seidenberg’s season ending injury, the Bruins had to recall Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky on an emergency basis. As a result, goaltender Niklas Svedberg, who was supposed to fill in for Rask in Ottawa Saturday night, was sent down to Providence and Tuukka started his second game in as many nights.
Things did not turn out well for Rask that night as he was pulled early in the second period in the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Senators. Looking to bounce back from that performance, the Finnish goalie did not do himself any favors giving up five goals on 31 shots Tuesday night.
“I wasn’t even supposed to play [against Ottawa],” Rask said. “I totally forgot about that game, and I tried to regroup today, but it didn’t happen.”
Granted, some of the goals that Rask gave up Tuesday night weren’t his fault, giving up eight goals in the last four plus periods is an indicator that he should sit a game. So don’t be surprised if Chad Johnson gets the nod Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.
Still, Tuukka’s teammates, and his coach, have his back.
“You can evaluate him the way you want,” said Claude Julien. “All I know is that he’s been a real great goaltender for us, and players have some good games and they have so-so games. I’m certainly not going to throw him under the bus with everything he’s done for us.”
Rare off night for the penalty kill
As one of the top teams in the league on the PK, it was safe to assume that the Bruins’ shorthanded unit wouldn’t have a difficult time against the Isles power play, which was near the bottom of the league on the man advantage coming into Tuesday’s game. But that was not the case.
With offensive weapons like Frans Neilsen- who scored twice on the power play, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, and B’s killer Thomas Vanek, the Islanders sent Boston’s penalty killers running around all night. For that matter, the Black and Gold didn’t do themselves any favors as they were called for seven penalties and the Isles scored four times on the man advantage (out of eight chances).
Its safe to say that the breakdowns were out of character for the Bruins, who entered the game in third in the league on the penalty kill.
“It’s obviously not [our style], and we need to be a lot better,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored his 10th of the season at 12:33 of the second. “We all take a lot of pride in [our penalty kill] and we have to look at videos and, like I said, compete and be a lot better.”
It was the second time this season that the penalty kill allowed four goals in a game. The other time it happened was back on October 26th against the Devils. After that, the Bruins went on to kill 33 straight penalties from the end of October to the middle of November.
But without Dennis Seidenberg, the B’s are feeling out of place on the shorthanded unit. And they’ll need some players on the back end, like Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuk, and even Dougie Hamilton – when he returns – to step up in his absence.
See what Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci had to say after the B’s loss Tuesday night: