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  • What we learned: Three out of four on the road

    Post Game

    What we learned: Three out of four on the road

    Tim Rosenthal February 26, 2017

    Under Claude Julien in 2016-17, the Bruins struggled against lowly teams like the Avalanche and, at the time, the Maple Leafs and Islanders.

    With interim coach Bruce Cassidy now in control, that portion of the Bruins struggles under Julien hasn’t carried over yet. Case in point Sunday afternoon in Dallas where the Black and Gold earned a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars, who sit tied for 11th in the Western Conference standings.

    Here is what we learned as the Bruins end the road trip with three wins in four games and are now 6-1-0 under Cassidy.

    Boy that escalated quickly

    Two seconds. That is all it took for David Backes and Jamie Benn to renew acquaintances.

    With bad blood carrying over from Backes’ time in St. Louis, the former Blues captain didn’t waste time reliving history with Dallas’ captain. The two engaged in a spirited fight before serving their five minutes in the box. It’s a trade off the Bruins would take any day of the week as the Stars were without one-half of the dynamic duo of Benn and Tyler Seguin to start the game.

    From Sean Avery and Steve Ott engaging in their antics to Matt Niskanen having his “kisser rearranged by Sheriff Shane Hnidy” and a 2011 contest that saw three fights in the first four seconds, the Bruins and Stars have had an interesting history when it comes to dropping the gloves. The Backes-Benn bout added another chapter to this unique distinction.

    Offensive onslaught follows

    Two goals in 55 seconds.

    Against a team that entered Sunday’s game giving up the third-most goals in the league, the Bruins were hoping to jump on the Stars quickly. Well, they did just that.

    On one of the prettiest plays of the season, David Pastrnak dangled through Dallas’ defense behind the net to set up Patrice Bergeron, who fed it to Brad Marchand for his team-leading 27th of the season. Moments later after a faceoff win, David Krejci tipped Torey Krug’s shot from the point for his 16th of the year and a 2-0 first period lead.

    Dallas entered Sunday’s matinee with a 7-19-7 mark when giving up the first goal. Their .212 winning percentage in such occurrence was third worst in the league. The Bruins are now 22-7-4 when scoring the game’s first goal.

    Stars tie it, but Bruins respond

    Like Wednesday’s game in Anaheim, the Bruins appeared to be going down a similar route after John Klingberg and Jiri Hudler beat a screened Tuukka Rask to even things up in the middle stanza. Their response, however, was quite swift.

    In a span of 40 seconds, Frank Vatrano and Patrice Bergeron tipped their goals past Kari Lehtonen to give the Black and Gold a two-goal lead again at 14:41 and 15:21.

    Bergeron added his second of the game at 7:48 of the third after a brilliant feed from Marchand while Ryan Spooner answered a goal from old friend Tyler Seguin 1:23 later with his power play tally at 14:23.

    Bergeron, Marchand and Krug all notched a team-high three points in Dallas while Pastrnak and Spooner notched two points in another terrific offensive display from the Bruins.

    Since Cassidy took over, the Bruins have scored four or more goals in five of their last seven games, outscoring their opponents 29-16 in that span.

    The ever-changing playoff picture continues

    Sunday’s win puts the Bruins at 70 points and back into third place in the Atlantic Division. According to Sports Club Stats, their chances of advancing to the postseason are now over 70 percent, with the Panthers and Senators still to come tonight in South Florida.

    The Sens, who will have two games in hand after tonight, are tied with the Bruins in points. The Panthers, who have dropped two straight at home following a five-game winning streak on the road, have 66 points and will have a game in hand on the B’s after their matchup with Ottawa.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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