After an ugly 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night at TD Garden, the talk postgame in the Bruins’ locker room was about building some momentum into the holiday break with a pair of wins.
Sure, four points would have been ideal, but three out of four is enough for the Bruins to enjoy the Christmas weekend.
The Bruins kicked off their back to back stretch with a win in Sunrise over the Panthers. Claude Julien and company followed that up with an overtime 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, a game in which they led 2-0.
Here is what we learned from the Bruins back-to-back slate:
Ryan Spooner, Torey Krug get hot
Secondary scoring has been an issue for the Bruins all season long. Lately, though, that issue seems to be turning a corner. Between their games in Florida and Carolina, Krug and Spooner combined for seven points with one goal and six assists.
The duo seems to be growing in confidence and that is starting to show on the scoresheet. Krug’s 18 points are now good enough for fourth on the team. Spooner, who sits sixth on the team in points, has 15.
Backup goalie woes continue
The Bruins had hoped once Anton Khudobin returned from Providence and got himself healthy, their backup goalie woes would fix itself. Unfortunately for Boston’s hockey club, that has not been the case. Khudobin has just one win in seven starts and hasn’t resembled anything close to the Khudobin of years past.
Between Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre, the Bruins backup goalies have just one victory. However, it may be time to give McIntyre another look at the NHL level. The Minnesota native and former University of North Dakota standout is 8-0 for the Providence Bruins with a 1.28 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage.
Welcome back, Frank
The Bruins missed Frank Vatrano, no doubting that. Returning to action Thursday night after missing the first 34 games due to a foot injury – and after a brief two-game rehab stint in Providence – Vatrano picked up right where he left off a season ago.
From his first shift on Thursday, Vatrano created scoring chances and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. Vatrano’s efforts later paid off as he scored his first goal of the season to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead early in the second period.
The Bruins will surely need Vatrano’s depth as they continue to sit in the top three of the Atlantic Division.
Jagr continues to dazzle
Jaromir Jagr continues to defy logic and amaze spectators in different ways. Thursday, Jagr picked up a third period assist, his 1,888th career point. The assist launched him into second all-time on the NHL’s scoring list, only trailing some guy named Wayne Gretzky.
It doesn’t look like Jagr is slowing down anytime soon!