Sometimes, the team that dominates play gets the short end of the stick.
The Bruins were the one’s who fell victim to that aforementioned sports cliche on Tuesday night.
If it wasn’t for Steve Mason and his tremendous 45-save performance, the Bruins would unquestionably have earned two points on any other night. Instead, despite dominating play in the third period and overtime that erased a two-goal deficit, the Black and Gold left the city of ‘Brotherly Love’ with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Flyers.
Here is what we learned after Shayne Gostibehere’s ninth-round winner in the glorified skills competition put the Bruins at 12-10-1 on the season.
Even with one point, Bruins show sense of urgency
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Bruins were 0-8-0 when trailing after two periods. Generally, point percentages when trailing after 40 minutes aren’t very good, and the Bruins were playing reasonably well but found themselves down 2-0 heading into the second intermission.
For the first time in 2016-17, the Bruins got a point when they entered the third period with a deficit. In a span of 1:18, David Krejci and Brad Marchand evened things up with their third and seventh goals of the season, respectively.
The opportunities didn’t stop for the Black and Gold in the last 19-plus minutes following Marchand’s equalizer. Of their 47 shots on goal, 17 came in the third period and overtime combined. From establishing zone time to getting clutch saves from Tuukka Rask – one on Jakub Voracek’s penalty shot and another being a flashy pad save on Claude Giroux towards the end of overtime moments after Mason robbed Krejci with the glove – the Bruins’ effort was there throughout the night, but it took awhile for things to come full circle on this night.
Miss Rask’s save on the penalty shot?
Here you go: pic.twitter.com/SmFrcIHV38
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 30, 2016
Both sides of Marchand show up
Although his maturity over the years is drawing praise from teammates and Bruins management, there are times where Marchand can veer into his old habits.
Some of those bad omens came back on Tuesday night as the seventh-year Bruin took an untimely roughing penalty in the third period to put the Flyers on the power play. It carried on into overtime when he and Wayne Simmonds exchanged in a shift-long altercation that started when Marchand slashed the Flyers forward in the overtime session and was not called by the officials. Marchand and Simmonds did sit for matching roughing penalties in their post-whistle exchange.
But there was some good that came from Marchand as well. His seventh of the season at 5:44 of the third evened things up at 2-2 and his pursuit of the puck was strong throughout the night.
This hasn’t been the best of starts for Marchand to be sure as he tallied just four goals throughout the month of November. Even when he doesn’t light the lamp, he still finds a way to contribute. During those times when some bad habits kick in every now and again, the Hub should continue to expect good things from No. 63.
Officiating takes center stage
Claude Julien’s expression towards the way the game was called last night may have been popular around social media, but he had his reasons for them.
Whether it was Marchand vs. Simmonds, or a non-call when Matt Beleskey’s stick was slashed, or Voracek’s penalty shot being rewarded for a rather dubious hold on Joe Morrow or David Pastrnak getting called for embellishment after losing his balance from being tripped by Nick Cousins, Julien had his reasons to give Tuesday’s officials an ear full of his displeasure.
Whether it was bouncing back from an early deficit or getting into a flow with the questionable calls on both sides, it was a night where the Bruins had to stick with the gameplan and not get overly frustrated. They’ll at least put one point in the bank in their only visit to Philadelphia in 2016-17.