The Boston Bruins had never won a game when trailing by two goals this season. Although that is still a true statement, the B’s battled back in the third period to overcome a two-goal deficit to earn a point in St. Louis Thursday night.
The third period was all but dominated by the Black and Gold. David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored a goal in the final stanza to force overtime.
It was a hard-earned point for the Bruins without captain Zdeno Chara and a tough ending at that when Carl Soderberg inadvertently lost the puck behind his own net leading to the eventual game-winner by T.J. Oshie. Before that, Jarome Iginla had a chance to give the Black and Gold a come from behind victory in the extra session, but Krejci’s pass to him on the doorstep was deflected by Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo at the last second.
The Blues blew a two-goal lead in the third period for the third straight game, but in this one they prevailed in front of their home crowd.
All is not lost in this game. The Bruins were the better team and deserved a better result. The bad ending cannot overshadow the comeback and head coach Claude Julien will be the first to admit that.
It was a tough task already playing without their captain-falling behind 2-0 was not ideal, but Johnny Boychuk, the longest tenured defenseman on the Bruins without Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, knows wins are hard to come by in this league and his team deserved better.
“We played well,” Boychuk said. “The young guys played well with Zee (Chara) out and I thought we should have won. Sometimes you get the bounces and sometimes you don’t, but I thought the entire team played very well tonight.”
The first line for the Black and Gold brought the heat tonight creating multiple offensive chances eventually leading to the Krejci goal, but it wasn’t enough.
There was a lot of good to take out of Thursday’s performance. Lucic’s net front presence on the Krejci goal was big on a night where Chara was not available, the resurgence of the second line was key (hadn’t scored a goal in previous five games) and the confidence in the young defensemen stepping up without their workhorse.
Although the B’s did not get the two points they wanted, one point is not too shabby when trailing by two goals in the third period against a Blues team that is 10-0-1 at home against Eastern Conference opponents.
“Down two, force overtime we deserve a better outcome,” said Marchand, who tied the game with his 18th of the season at 11:24 of the third period. “We should have had the win, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
The Bruins came out flying in the third period down two goals, earned a point when it looked almost impossible against an elite Western Conference opponent. The ending was tough, but the players and coaches know it was a game well played until Oshie lit the lamp for the game-winner.
The effort against St. Louis should give the Black and Gold some confidence in Saturday’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators at the TD Garden, as they look to end their pre-Olympic slate on a high note.