Pekka Rinne gave the Bruins trouble all night Tuesday. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
The Bruins lost the battle of really, really good Finnish goalies Tuesday as they began their three-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Predators (box).
Tuukka Rask had to bail out the Bruins throughout the night, but Pekka Rinne stood every bit as tall on the other end before stopping Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron in the shootout. Derek Roy scored the only goal of the shootout for the Predators.
Rask had 38 saves on the night, with Rinne stopping 33 of the 35 he faced from the B’s.
With the shootout loss, the Bruins fell to 15-13-3. They are now 8-9-3 on the season without David Krejci, who sat again Tuesday.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday night:
REILLY SMITH IS A STREAKY GOAL-SCORER
Smith scored an absolute beauty of a goal in the third period, going past James Neal to the net and stickhandling backhand to forehand and sliding it across, off the post and in. The goal gave him eight on the season to tie Brad Marchand for the team lead.
The goal was also Smith’s fourth tally in the last five games after going 10 straight games without a point. He scored in two straight games prior to that point-less stretch.
This isn’t the first example of streakiness from Smith with the Bruins, of course. He raced out to 18 goals in the first 52 games of last season before scoring just twice more over the next 30 games.
MILAN LUCIC GIVETH, MILAN LUCIC TAKETH A BAD PENALTY
Lucic scored his sixth goal of the season when he got the Bruins on the board following the expiration of a power play in the second period. He was relentless in front of the net, jumping on a rebound of a Chris Kelly shot and then getting his own rebound to eventually bury a third-chance effort past Pekka Rinne.
That was the good Lucic. The bad came late in the period when he took a painfully obvious hooking penalty against Seth Jones in the offensive zone to give Nashville a power play with 1:01 remaining in the period. The penalty led to a Mike Fisher goal that game off a Shea Weber wrist shot with Fisher in front of Tuukka Rask.
The penalty was unnecessary and easily avoidable, as Lucic also cross-checked Jones when he got to him before providing ample stick-work.
The Lucic-Kelly-Cunningham line was also on the ice for Mike Ribeiro’s third-period goal. Lucic was called on a questionable slash minutes later.
Overtime was a mixed bag for Lucic, as he had a turnover in the defensive zone in overtime that led to a scoring chance that Tuukka Rask would stop. Later on the shift, he picked off a pass in the neutral zone and raced into the zone before being stopped by Rinne.
THE BRUINS GET THREE (3) POWER PLAYS
Claude Julien has lamented the lack of penalties called against opposing teams this season. Tuesday might have been the greatest night of his life.
The Bruins were give not one, not two, but three power plays Tuesday, marking the first time in six games that they got three cracks at playing with a man advantage. The B’s more or less wasted a pair of power plays from Colin Wilson high-sticking calls, but their second-period power play saw them land four shots on net, with Lucic’s even-strength goal coming shortly thereafter.
THEY STILL AREN’T PLAYING JOE MORROW
Reporters on hand for Tuesday’s morning skate expected Joe Morrow to be in the lineup after seeing him skate alongside Dennis Seidenberg for the non-contact practice. Apparently Claude Julien was just messing with everyone, as he kept Zach Trotman in the lineup and Morrow in the press box Tuesday night.
That makes it five of six games as a healthy scratch for Morrow, who has played well in his 15 games and has seemingly done nothing to earn himself press box time other than being a left-shot.
Claude Julien clearly likes Trotman a lot, and with Adam McQuaid working his way back from a broken thumb, ice time for Morrow could end up being even tougher to get.