Overtime continues to bring success to Bruins
With just one win in their first seven tries, overtime hockey used to be something that the Bruins feared. But thanks to four straight OT wins — three of which have come in their last four games — the Black and Gold have a whole new outlook on the NHL’s recently installed three-on-three system.
Whether it’s a change of mindset, making the plays in front of them, taking the space given, or even a 50/50 chance, something has been clicking in overtime for David Pastrnak and the Bruins.
“To be honest, three-on-three, it’s like [the] shootout. It’s 50/50, you know,” Pastrnak said.
With all the open ice available in the three-on-three format, mistakes are even more costly during the five-minute extra session. Pastrnak knows how important it is to prevent those mistakes, and even more so how important it is to capitalize on errors by opponents.
“Whoever makes the first mistake and let the other team odd-man rush,” Pastrnak added. “So, it can’t go your way every night, and obviously the last couple months I think we’ve been pretty good in overtime. But, how I said, it’s about whoever scores on the chance after the other team’s mistake.”
A mistake is what led to Brad Marchand’s game-winning goal just 34 seconds into the Bruins’ 11th overtime session of the season Tuesday night. After Torey Krug’s shot sat in a prime position just to the right of the crease, a wide-open Marchand deposited the loose puck into the net for his franchise-record 11th career overtime goal, giving the Bruins a wild 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Let’s not forget to mention that the OT winner was also Marchand’s third of the night, marking his first hat trick since a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on March 13, 2017.
“Yeah, a bit of a lucky bounce,” Marchand said about his game-winner. “I was kind of hoping Torey [Krug] was going to get it there for the hat trick, but it ended up on my stick and luckily it went in.”
Marchand’s record-setting tally broke a three-way tie with Dit Clapper and Glen Murray for the most career overtime goals in team history; he now sits eighth among active NHL players in that category. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin leads all active players with 22.
Marchand had an easy answer for why overtime has brought him so much personal success.
“I play with good players, so it makes it a lot easier when you’re playing with the guys I’m able to play with,” he said.
Oddly enough, Tuesday wasn’t the first time this season that Marchand sealed an OT win over the Red Wings. Thirty-five seconds into Boston’s battle with their Atlantic Division rivals on Dec. 14, the veteran left winger also played the role of villain with his overtime strike.
“They are resilient,” Marchand said of the Red Wings. “It hasn’t always gone their way this year. I think they are better than their record shows. They don’t quit-they didn’t tonight, and they had a few more opportunities to score. But again, it doesn’t really matter how you get the two points as long as you get them.”
With Tuukka Rask battling a minor injury, Anton Khudobin has gotten the nod for the Bruins in their last two games. Twice, Khudobin has gotten the Bruins to overtime, and twice the Bruins have walked away victorious.
“Pretty good, right? Two W’s,” Khudobin said with a smile.
Pretty good is right. Things are pretty good indeed for the Boston Bruins.