The only time the Boston Bruins were shut out this season was in a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche way back in October. On Friday night, Chad Johnson and the B’s returned the favor shutting out the only team in the NHL that hadn’t been held without a goal all season 2-0 behind goals by Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg.
The Black and Gold have now won 11 games in a row while clinching a playoff spot for the seventh straight season.
Many believed Tuukka Rask would get the nod in a tough match up in Colorado, but that’s why Claude Julien gets paid the big bucks to coach. Julien penciled in Johnson versus Patrick Roy’s Avalanche and he did not let his coach down by earning his second shutout of the season.
Johnson was magnificent on the night earning his 16th win of the year by turning away all 31 shots he faced. The B’s backup hasn’t lost a game in regulation since December 28th in Ottawa where he only allowed one goal. He is 10-0-1 in his last 11 games sporting a .934 save percentage during that stretch. He has allowed two or fewer goals in nine of those starts.
With five minutes to go in regulation (yes five minutes) Roy pulled his goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater where things became hectic. But, Johnson thrived keeping the Avs off the scoreboard.
There were times in Friday’s game where Johnson saved the game for the B’s. Two of those times were his big save on Maxime Talbot and denying Jan Hejda.
As many of the B’s players do, Johnson acknowledged his team’s effort on the night and not his individual accomplishment.
“I thought Chad played really well,” defenseman Dougie Hamilton said about Johnson’s effort. “I guess at the end of the first period he made some saves and that helped us a lot.”
Although Johnson is praised for his home record in which he remains undefeated, he now owns a 5-0-1 record in his last six road starts. He is showing consistency wherever he plays and it has been like that all season long.
Anton Khudobin was making a name for himself this season in Carolina after he left the B’s, but Johnson is making B’s fans forget he even existed. Johnson now owns a 2.04 goals against average and a .925 save percentage to go along with his 16-3-1 record.
“Yeah, I mean he stopped the pucks tonight and the first period same thing with him, he had to get better after the first because we had a lot of loose pucks around the net,” Julien said. “The second period was better. I think the second period our whole team was better, but I think when you give up 14 shots in the first period and a lot of scoring chances, I think Chad (Johnson) did a good job for us tonight.”
With a hectic March schedule, Julien would be wise to slide Johnson in a few more games to spell Rask who make no mistake about it is still the workhorse of this team. But, Johnson won’t go quietly into the night as he is opening eyes up across the National Hockey League.
See what Johnson, Julien, Hamilton and Soderberg had to say about the B’s 2-0 shutout win over the Avs last night. Be sure to also subscribe to our YouTube page at youtube.com/bruinsdaily.