If there was one key prior to Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, it was scoring that first goal. Loui Eriksson did that-scoring his first playoff goal since May 14, 2008.
This was the theme of the afternoon-timely scoring. After Pavel Datsyuk’s power play goal tied the game at one towards the end of the second period, it seemed the game got a little bit tighter. That’s when the Boston Bruins rose to the occasion again.
While on the power-play, Patrice Bergeron threaded a beautiful cross ice pass to Captain Zdeno Chara who buried the goal with a blast to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead with less than four seconds to go in the second period.
“Well, we had only a few seconds left and it was kind of a 50-50 puck down low,” Chara said. “We won the battle for the puck and Bergy just showed how quickly he can see the opening and made a really great pass to me. I mean-I was emotional. It was a big game and a big goal. So, I’m not afraid to show it.”
That goal by Chara gave the Bruins all the momentum in the world heading into the final frame answering Datsyuk’s goal. Goaltender Tuukka Rask who stopped 33 of 35 shots spoke about the timing of Chara’s goal and Milan Lucic’s early goal to begin the third period that gave the B’s some breathing room.
“Yeah, the second one was huge,” Rask said after the B’s 4-2 victory. “They tied the game up and then we were kind of down, but then got the momentum right back and three seconds left in the period, so it was huge and then we got that insurance from Looch, so great effort.”
It seemed as if the Bruins dominated the entire game, but only had the one goal lead before the Red Wings tied it and defenseman Torey Krug admitted the goals by Chara and Lucic gave the B’s some extra life.
Timely goals are very significant in the playoffs. Saturday afternoon, the B’s had no trouble just finding a way to regain the lead. While Lucic’s goal was big, he spoke about how Chara’s goal at the end of the second period gave their team life again heading into the third.
“It was huge,” Lucic said of his Captain. “You look at it, fourteen seconds left and a four-on-three there, and you knew that if you can go into the second intermission there getting back up a goal it would definitely give you that momentum back and kind of that positive mindset back and that one goal lead heading into the third period, which everyone, I think it lifted everyone on our team. So huge goal by the power-play unit that was out there, finding that puck and Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) making that great play to Zee (Zdeno Chara) and Zee obviously using his lethal shot and getting it in the back of the net.”
There were many key contributors Saturday. We can look at Rask, Krug and Bergeron. We can go right down the line, but Eriksson’s goal early in the first, Chara’s blast to end the second and Lucic’s goal at the start of the third were intricate parts in this particular win.
Head coach Claude Julien knows his team always brings a heavy game, but on this day they also brought a timely game.
“When you score those kind of goals-obviously Zdeno’s kind of gave us the life back or the momentum back that we needed because they had just gotten it from us,” Julien said. “By that time in the game, you could see that they had a sense of believing, so we had to right away get that next goal and get ourselves back on top of that game. Then Looch has done a great job. He’s scored some goals and where it’s impressive is that most guys would skate by the net. He stops and if there’s a puck there, he’s on top of it. So he’s scored a lot of goals by getting a good net drive and stopping in front and making sure he pounds those in. But those are big goals. So we got a two-goal lead, they score one, there’s no panic. So I thought our guys handled it well. “
Coming back from deficits and scoring timely goals are two traits of championship hockey teams. The Bruins did both against the Red Wings and will now turn their attention to their second round matchup against the hated Montreal Canadiens.
See what Julien, Chara, Lucic, Krug, Bergeron, Loui Eriksson and Red Wings forward Johan Franzen had to say about the Bruins’ series clinching win on Saturday.