The Bruins got two more points than they deserved Wednesday.
After being positively dominated for the second and third periods and only trailing by a 2-1 score thanks to the play of Jonas Gustavsson, the B’s managed to score a late goal in regulation and cap the overtime period with Frank Vatrano’s second goal of the game.
With Gustavsson trying to rescue the B’s by himself in the third period, Loui Eriksson and Colin Miller gave him some much-needed help. Eriksson fed Miller off the rush during a Red Wings line change, with Miller blasting his famed slapshot past Petr Mrazek to tie the game with 1:44 remaining in regulation. Miller then fired the shot in overtime that Vatrano tipped past Mrazek to give the B’s the 3-2 win.
Despite giving up his usual rebounds, Gustavsson was terrific against his former club, stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced.
Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:
BRUINS FALL OFF IN SECOND PERIOD
For the second straight game, the Bruins suffered a letdown in the second period. That’s probably where the comparisons to Monday’s second period, however. The Bruins’ second period against the Leafs on Monday saw the B’s allow three goals and score one, but the Bruins didn’t get enough shots on goal in Wednesday’s second period to expect a goal.
Boston managed just four shots on Petr Mrazek in the second period, including a nearly 10-minute drought without a shot. Detroit kept the pressure on the B’s for essentially the first 19 minutes until Dylan Larkin took a holding penalty to put the B’s on the power play.
The B’s didn’t exactly pick it up after that, as the puck was in the Bruins’ zone for the majority of the third period. The B’s managed just 12 shots on goal over the final 40 minutes of regulation.
VATRANO MAKES ANOTHER GRAND ENTRANCE
Know this about this Bruins team: Whenever the B’s add Frank Vatrano to the lineup, the rookie winger scores. Thankfully for the B’s, he scored twice Wednesday.
Vatrano, who scored in his NHL debut earlier this month, returned to the lineup after a two-game absence from an upper-body injury and gave the Bruins an early lead Wednesday. After the Bruins’ fourth line kept the puck in the offensive zone, Vatrano jumped on the ice during a line change, took a feed from Joonas Gustavsson and fired it past Petr Mrazek from high in the zone.
It wasn’t all good for Vatrano, as he took a tripping penalty with just over five minutes to play, leaving the B’s shorthanded as they tried to come back from a one-goal deficit. The game-winner more than made up for that, however.
The rookie left wing skated on Boston’s third line is his return to the lineup, playing with Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly. The lines were as follows:
CHARA MAKES BIG SAVE EARLY
When Vatrano scored, the Bruins should have considered themselves very fortunate to have the lead. Shortly before his goal, a Niklas Kronwall shot leaked through Jonas Gustavsson and was headed into the net before Zdeno Chara swept the puck out of the crease to keep the game scoreless.
Later in the first, Gustavsson gave up a rebound on a Darren Helm shot that McQuaid tried to knock away from danger. The B’s weren’t so fortunate the second time around, as McQuaid sent the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty.
POWER PLAY TAKES DIP
The Bruins’ dominant power play hasn’t been so dominant of late. With an 0-for-3 showing on the man advantage, the B’s have now gone three games without a power play goal and have not scored on their last eight power plays.
That’s a pretty drastic change from the torrid pace the B’s were on earlier, as the B’s had scored on the power play in 10 of 11 games prior to this stretch.
Even with their recent dip in production, the B’s entered Wednesday’s game with the No. 1 power in the NHL.