As the classic adage goes, “They don’t ask how, but whether or not you did indeed end up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.”
The Bruins ended up winning after nearly blowing two multiple goal leads.
After breaking through offensively to take a 5-2 lead through two periods, the Bruins experienced a third period scare that saw the Blues control the play en route to scoring twice before a late Boston power play led to Patrice Bergeron’s 30th goal of the season.
Though the two goal-lead Bergeron’s tally provided looked to put the game away with 3:24 remaining, a Kevin Shattenkirk goal with under 21 seconds forced the Bruins to sweat out the final seconds before escaping with a 6-5 victory over the Blues.
Friday’s win marked the first time in eight games that the Bruins scored at least three goals against a goaltender. The B’s were mired in an offensive slump entering the game, having scored just 16 goals in their previous 10 games. The Blues, meanwhile had allowed one goal over their last five games combined before the B’s put five past Brian Elliott and another past Jake Allen.
The win for the Bruins was massive, as the Red Wings defeated the Wild before the conclusion of Boston’s game. With the victory, the Bruins remain one point ahead of Detroit for the third spot in the Atlantic Division, which is likely the only attainable playoff spot for either team. The Bruins will host the Red Wings on April 7 in Boston’s 81st game of the season.
The Bruins will next play Sunday in a matinee against the Blackhawks, which will be their final road game of the season. The Blackhawks will be without Duncan Keith, who will be serving the second game of a six-game suspension for swinging his stick at the face of Wild forward Charlie Coyle.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
KREJCI TAKES OVER
Based on both his play in recent weeks and the fact that he has been kept off the ice for practices at points this season, it isn’t a leap to presume that Krejci is not completely healthy. Whatever might be ailing Krejci didn’t prevent him from taking over a key game Friday.
Krejci had a pair of goals and two assists for a four-point game, marking his second multi-point performance in the Bruins’ last three games. His first assist on Friday came on Matt Beleskey’s 15th goal of the season. The other came on Bergeron’s tally, Boston’s second power-play goal of the night. The Bruins also got goals from Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano.
B’S LOSE ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN EARLY
Last season, injuries to defensemen in the final games exacerbated the Bruins’ problems, as Dougie Hamilton missed the final 10 games with a rib injury, while Zdeno Chara was hurt in the 79th game of the season but played through it.
Already without Dennis Seidenberg for Friday and Sunday due to an undisclosed injury, the Bruins lost Kevan Miller to a lower-body injury for the game in the first period, as the veteran defenseman went hard into the boards at the tail end of a race with Magnus Paajarvi. Miller remained down and was helped off the ice by teammates.
Should Miller be unavailable in the coming games, Zach Trotman would likely slot into the lineup after missing the last 11 games as a healthy scratch. Trotman last played on March 7. PASTRNAK STICKS IT OUT In other injury news, David Pastrnak appeared to hurt his right knee when he fell funny in an attempt to avoid a hit in the second period. Pastrnak was holding his knee as he left the ice, and he promptly went down the tunnel rather than staying on the bench. Pastrnak would stay in the game, however, returning after missing 6:50.
GRIFFITH IN, HAYES OUT; SPOONER AND LILES RETURN
The Bruins saw two players return from injury and also brought a third in for performance reasons. John-Michael Liles and Ryan Spooner, who had two and one-game absences, respectively, due to lower-body injuries, both re-entered the lineup on Friday.
Both players made big contributions in the win over St. Louis, as Liles had a pair of assists (one of which came on a nifty stretch-pass to set up Eriksson’s breakaway goal) and had a huge shot block on Alex Pietrangelo during a first-period Blues power play.
Spooner, meanwhile, picked up an assist on Krejci’s power-play goal in the second period, as the young center was placed back on the Bruins’ top power play unit. It wasn’t all pretty for Spooner, however, as he was called for holding Parik Berglund with 11:09 remaining, shortly after the Blues had scored their fourth goal to cut Boston’s lead to one.
Claude Julien also opted to make Jimmy Hayes a healthy scratch and play Seth Griffith in his place. Boston’s lineup Friday looked as such: