What we learned: Bruins get a point during a bizarre night in Winnipeg
The makings were there for the Bruins to come away with nothing in Winnipeg, but once again they scrapped their way to a positive result against one of the upper echelon teams in the Western Conference.
Sure, a 5-4 shootout loss isn’t ideal, especially given everything that transpired from sloppy officiating to a wild third period and overtime session. But the Bruins can take some silver linings back home before preparing for an epic late-season showdown against the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning.
Here is what we learned as the Bruins pull within one point of the Bolts — with a game in hand — with first place in the East on the line Thursday night at TD Garden.
Opening goal highlights rough nights for officials
Officiating any sport is a tough gig. They rarely get credit if they have a good night and often get scrutinized for head-scratching calls on a bad night.
Tuesday was quite the bizarre night for the men in stripes starting with Brandon Tanev’s first of three goals. Or was it?
As you see in the embedded video above the linesman near the goal-line blew the play dead as Tanev tried to stuff the puck past Anton Khudobin, who himself battled through a tough game after allowing four goals on 32 shots. This was one save that should’ve counted toward Khduboin’s stat line but somehow the officials ruled Tanev’s goal good after huddling and video review deemed there was no definitive evidence to overturn the call.
It was hard to tell whether or not the puck crossed the goal-line but alas, the goal stood. Here’s how the NHL described the ruling:
“At 5:33 of the Bruins/Jets game, the Referee informed the Situation Room that Brandon Tanev’s shot completely crossed the goal line.
After the Situation Room initiated the video review, it was determined there was no definitive replays to overturn the Referee’s call on the ice. Therefore the Referee’s call on the ice stands – good goal Winnipeg.”
Ironically enough, the Bruins also benefitted from an original call when Danton Heinen pulled the Bruins within one early in the third after surviving an offside challenge from Paul Maurice. It’s hard to blame the Winnipeg coach for challenging, but again, replay deemed there was no definitive evidence of the puck leaving the blue line, thus Heinen’s 14th of the year stood.
Morrissey’s late hit on Grzelcyk leads to wild third
With a 3-1 lead, the Jets had momentum on their side after Tanev’s second of the game and former Bruin Joe Morrow propelled them to the two-goal advantage just 6:25 into the middle stanza. But Josh Morrissey’s late an unnecessary hit from behind on Matt Grzlecyk at the end of the second period — that should certainly be reviewed by the Department of Player Safety — shifted the course of the final 20.
Though it wasn’t pretty, the Bruins’ power play was effective with three third period goals starting with Morrisey’s five-minute major for boarding. The B’s scored twice in that span with Heinen pulling the Bruins within one and David Pastrnak tying things up at 3-3 with his 31st of the year — on a 5-on-3 following the failed offside challenge — just 1:51 apart.
That five-minute span wasn’t all that effective, however, as Tanev completed the hat trick after Khudobin turned the puck over following an errant outlet pass to Nick Holden and allowed a softy to the former Providence College standout at 4:29.
Another response was needed from the resilient Bruins and they got it from Krug’s 14th of the season — tying a career high set in 2013-14 — for the team’s third power play goal of the night at 8:09.
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) March 28, 2018
“You know we’re a tight group, and when you see a guy go down and take a heavy hit there, you want to step up for him,” Krug told reporters about the Morrissey hit on Grzelcyk and its aftermath.
“You know, we don’t back down from anyone. So it kind of lit a fire into our team and our group, and coming into the intermission we knew we had a five-minute power play to take advantage of and to get ourselves back into the game, and we did.”
It wasn’t the same end result from their third-period comebacks against the Hurricanes and Stars in recent weeks, but the Black and Gold found a way to get a point against a Jets squad that improved to 37-1-1 when leading after two periods.
Not this time for Marchand as Laine ends it in a shootout
Overtime and Brad Marchand go hand in hand, but it was not meant to be Tuesday night.
A gassed and tired Marchand had one golden chance to end things in the 3-on-3 extra session but couldn’t capitalize on the OT ending breakaway as Connor Hellebuyck stoned him to send the game in the shootout.
Patrik Laine scored the shootout winner after Helleybuyck robbed Marchand again in Round 3 with the game on his stick.
Ryan Donato, who tallied the third goal of his career late in the first period, scored the Bruins’ lone shootout goal in Round 1.