Through 40 minutes, the Bruins and Kraken held multiple one-goal leads only to watch them vanish.
Seattle’s early 1-0 lead 40 seconds in on Matty Beniers’ 3-on-1 marker lasted less than 11 minutes following David Krejci’s first-period one-timer. Beneris’ 19th of the season marked the longest time between goals.
The Bruins countered a Vince Dunn point shot at 1:17 of the middle frame with a David Pastrnak highlight reel tally a mere 66 ticks later.
Brad Marchand gave the Bruins their first lead of the night on a rebound tally at 8:49. That 3-2 cushion only lasted 58 seconds following Jamie Oleksiak’s snipe past Jeremy Swayman.
Patrice Bergeron’s Selke-worthy shorthanded tally with 2:09 left in the second gave the Bruins their second lead. Yanni Gourde quickly countered with Seattle’s second equalizer after Charlie McAvoy tipped his attempted pass past Jeremy Swayman 62 seconds later.
The Bruins faced one more deficit after Jaden Schwartz outmuscled Matt Grzelcyk to tip a point shot past Swayman with 4:10 left in regulation. They quickly erased that with Brandon Carlo’s equalizer 29 seconds later.
Finally, the Bruins grabbed the lead for good, with Jake DeBrusk notching another game-winner with 1:48 remaining.
Here’s what we learned after Boston’s wild 6-5 win to kick off its latest four-game west coast trip.
Bruins experienced mixed emotions following Thursday’s trade
Every trade brings its share of emotions. Even if it improves a team’s chances of winning a Stanley Cup, the business side of hockey often leads to goodbyes to popular players within a locker room.
The Bruins felt that emotion firsthand with Thursday’s trade involving Orlov and Hathaway. And even with Craig Smith’s drop-off in production, the Bruins always appreciated his camaraderie.
“A guy we really liked,” Bergeron said of Smith. “He’s a great team guy, locker room guy, and a great friend. It’s obviously the sad part of this business losing those guys, those friends, and those you create a bond with. So I wish him all the best for him and his wife in Washington, and I think he’s going to do great over there.”
Smith may find a second wind in Washington. But the Bruins unquestionably possess a deeper roster.
They’ve endured several battles with Orlov and Hathaway, including a postseason matchup in 2021. The former provides another stable hand on the back end. The latter is an agitating cog that they hated to play against, but will surely love to have on their side.
That will only bode well for them come playoff time, especially in navigating a challenging Eastern Conference gauntlet.
“Hathaway, his grit and the way that he plays the game… he’s like a dog on a bone every shift,” Bergeron said regarding Hathaway’s standout traits. “He finishes his checks, and he’s really hard to play against. He’s really one of those guys who I think is a perfect playoff type of player and is going to fit in really well with us.”
“He’s a great defenseman who’s been doing it for a long time,” Connor Clifton said of Orlov. “I’m sure they’re excited about the team we have going. We’re obviously building for Game 83 on toward the playoffs, so we’re excited.”
The Bruins expect Orlov and Hathaway to join them on Friday in Vancouver. Whether they play in Saturday’s tilt with the Canucks will be up to Jim Montgomery and the coaching staff.
But ever the professionals, the Bruins attended Thursday’s business in hand. Amid their roller-coaster affair in Seattle, they turned to a familiar face to finally put them ahead for good.
Clutch situations bring the best out of DeBrusk
Since his rookie season in 2017-18, DeBrusk developed a knack for delivering the timely goal. Since moving to the top line with Bergeron and Marchand, he’s turned that into a habit.
DeBrusk’s triumphant two-goal outing at the Winter Classic and his two goals in his first-ever assignment next to Bergeron and Marchand in Seattle last season still resonate throughout Boston. On Thursday, nearly a year to the date when things started to turn a corner for DeBrusk, he delivered yet another go-ahead marker.
The Bruins put DeBrusk in position for another winner with their punches and counterpunches. The multiple pivotal tallies, including Carlo’s equalizer moments beforehand, allowed the 2015 first-rounder to park himself at the right place at the right time for a deflection tally past Philipp Grubauer.
“I think it’s just being at the right spot at the right time,” DeBrusk said. “It was a good shift by our line. Marshy won a puck battle and Bergy won a puck battle, and I just tried to get to the net. It’s simple hockey, honestly, but it seems to be going that way as of late. It’s fun to be scoring those goals. Everyone wants to be a part of it, but I think the goals leading up to it were just equally as clutch to put us in that position.”
The unusual 11 F/7D provided creative moments
Thursday’s trade resulted in a short-term ramification.
Though fully healthy, the Bruins opted to hold off Tomas Nosek’s return for a later date on the west coast trip. And with Smith departing, Montgomery had to insert a lineup featuring eleven forwards and seven defensemen.
Jakub Zboril slotted into that role for the first time since Jan. 7 in San Jose. Whether he sees any more time this season is anyone’s guess.
Boston’s usual stout defensive structure encountered its share of cracks in Seattle. Conversely, the 11 forwards allowed Montgomery to mix and match within his four lines.
Thursday provided certain unique trios, including a shift involving Trent Frederic with brief top-line minutes next to Marchand and Bergeron. In other instances, DeBrusk found himself in a third-line spot with Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno.
“Maybe on the defensive side,” Montgomery said of any challenges involving the eleven-forward, seven-defensemen lineup. “But for forwards, I think they get excited when they see 11 because they know they’re going to be thrown out in different situations. And I thought a lot of our creativity came because we had different trios out there that usually aren’t together.”
Only fitting on a day when Don Sweeney’s creativity provided extra depth for the stretch run.
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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