Loui Eriksson ends goal drought, starts B’s comeback
It had been exactly 21 days since No. 21 of the Boston Bruins found the back of the net, but Loui Eriksson couldn’t have picked a better spot to end his drought.
For the first time this season, the Bruins were looking for their fourth straight victory. That seemed far from reality, however, after the Oilers took a 2-1 lead just 1:44 of the third period when Yale University alum Marc Arcobello put his team ahead after gathering a rebound from Tuukka Rask. Prior to that, the B’s played a very sluggish second period.
The Bruins, however, responded to Arcobello’s goal. But before that they had to deal with another early whistle that cost them a goal, this time from David Krejci (in his first game back from a lower body injury). What could’ve been a demoralizing blow, instead turned into an opportunity when Eriksson scored on a rolling puck to tie the game at 2-2 at 11:04 of the third – his first goal since October 16th against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Following that, the Bruins tallied two power play goals just 69 seconds apart. The first came when Carl Soderberg took a feed from Patrice Bergeron – who was tripped up by Nikita Nikitin – for the go-ahead goal just 1:25 after the tying goal from his fellow linemate. With another power play under their belt, Dougie Hamilton took a feed from Eriksson and snapped a shot from the point past Ben Scrivens at 13:38 to give the Black and Gold some cushion.
Not bad for a team who had been frustrated by a young Oilers team, and had a lot of things going against them.
“They had scored the early goal to get the lead, but we came back and we get that big goal there,” Eriksson said following the Bruins’ 5-2 victory on Thursday night. “Then we get the opportunities to go on the power play and we took [advantage] of that, so it was nice to go out there and get the win.”
With the Bruins still feeling the wrath of their injuries, the team is needing each of the 20 skaters to step up for Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller. Prior to Thursday’s game, they had to fill the void of Krejci for two games as well.
Maybe it’s a soft schedule, but the Bruins are keeping their head above water while Chara, Krug and Miller heal from their injuries. In the last six games, head coach Claude Julien and company are 5-1.
The B’s have been doing it during Eriksson’s cold spell. But, an important goal such as Thursday’s could do a lot to boost a players confidence.
If that’s the case, Eriksson will be back to his solid two-way game and lighting the lamp again in no time.
“He’s in the same position I am right now,” said Reilly Smith, who was scoreless in his last three games until his third tally of the season with 1:15 left of the first period. “It was good to see him bury that. I know he had a couple of chances earlier, and sometimes it’s not going in the back of the net.”
See what Eriksson, Hamilton and Tuukka Rask had to say following the Bruins’ 5-2 win Thursday night