A penalty-heavy affair Friday night allowed the Bruins’ power play to keep up its strong start and Tuukka Rask to turn in his best performance of the young season. Those factors combined to deliver the Bruins a 3-1 victory over the Panthers at BB&T Center.
The B’s took five penalties over the final two periods, with Rask and Boston’s penalty killers silencing the Panthers with the exception of a Nick Bjugstad goal that came on a two-man advantage with Adam McQuaid playing with a broken stick in the second period. Shortly after, the Bruins killed off a 5-on-3 of 1:27 to protect Boston’s lead.
Rask, who stopped 31 of the 32 shots he saw on the night, has now allowed one goal over his last two games (2-0-0).
Boston’s power play, meanwhile, got goals from Brad Marchand and Zdeno Chara. Marchand added an even-strength goal, with both he and Chara having multi-point nights.
The win gave the Bruins five wins in their last six games and a six-game points streak (5-0-1). Boston’s longest points streak last season lasted eight games, with the B’s having two such streaks.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
MARCHAND MONEY, BUT TOSSED
Marchand had a pair of goals Friday, the first of which came on a first-period power play and the second of which saw him take a hard pass from Torey Krug and backhand it past Roberto Luongo. The third period saw Marchand draw a hooking penalty from Brandon Pirri in the opening minute of the third following a self-pass in the neutral zone.
It wasn’t all good news for Marchand, however, as he was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Dmitry Kulikov. Marchand and Claude Julien were both irate with the call, but it seemed a pretty open-and-shut case given that Marchand’s cross-check caused Kulikov’s face to hit the dasher pretty abruptly.
A good observation from The Patriot Ledger: Marchand now has points in each of his five games since returning from a concussion suffered in the second game of the season. Marchand has four goals and three assists for seven points since returning on the 17th against Arizona.
SECOND UNIT STRIKES AGAIN
Boston’s second power play unit doesn’t often see the light of day because, well, Claude Julien really likes the top unit because it scores a whole lot of goals. With Julien trying to devote as much time as possible in a given two-minute man advantage to David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner, Loui Eriksson and Torey Krug (usually the first minute and a half or so), the power play is frequently over by the time Zdeno Chara‘s unit can even take the ice.
Friday marked the second straight game in which Chara’s unit has scored. Marchand redirected a point shot from Chara for his first goal of the game, which followed Marchand’s power play goal in the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Coyotes.
Chara added a power play goal of his own in the third period, burying the rebound of Krejci shot, though it came late in a power play with the rest of the first unit still on the ice.
MILLER PLAYS, KEMPPAINEN CAN’T GO
Kevan Miller was able to play Friday after missing the third period of Tuesday’s game and not practicing the last two days. Joonas Kemppainen, on the other hand, was kept out of the lineup after being called questionable for the game by Claude Julien. Kemppainen’s injury is not currently known, but it caused him to miss a couple of shifts in the third period of Tuesday’s contest.
With Kemppainen out, Zac Rinaldo returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday. Miller’s availability meant that Zach Trotman was scratched for the eighth straight game. The lineup was as follows:
KREJCI STAYS HOT
With his shot that yielded the rebound on which Chara scored in the second period, Krejci extended his season-opening points streak to nine games. He now has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in nine games this season.
Also extending his point streak was Brett Connolly, who now has points in all four games since being scratched and his last five games total. Connolly had the secondary assist on Marchand’s second goal.