It had been a rough go of it for the Bruins’ power play, but the NHL‘s top-ranked man advantage returned with a bang Friday in delivering a pair of goals in a 4-3 win over the Rangers at TD Garden.
The Bruins had gone their last eight man advantages without a power play goal over a three-game stretch, but Brett Connolly changed that with a second-period goal past a screening Jimmy Hayes and Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game. The goal not only snapped the power play’s slump, but gave Connolly his first goal in 12 games. Then, with the B’s trailing 3-2 in the third period, Ryan Spooner scored on the man advantage to tie the game.
The B’s never lost momentum from there, as they took the lead in even-strength play shortly after on a David Krejci point shot.
The victory extended the Bruins’ current win streak to a season-best five games. They’ll try to extend it on a Western Canada road trip in which they’ll face the Oilers, Flames and Canucks.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
ROUGH OUTING FOR SEIDENBERG-MILLER PAIRING
Dennis Seidenberg said prior to Friday’s game that he was enjoying skating on a pairing with rookie Colin Miller. The Rangers enjoyed the pairing a little too much.
Both of New York’s second-period goals came at the expense of the pairing. The Rangers first got on the board when Oscar Lindberg evaded Seidenberg as he tried to box out the Rangers forward, with Lindberg firing a shot from the slot that beat Tuukka Rask.
About three minutes later, Miller took an unforced icing that led to a defensive zone faceoff. When Brett Connolly got the puck off the faceoff, Seidenberg was a tad overzealous in beginning his exit from the zone. Ryan McDonagh managed to keep the puck in, however, sending the puck down low to a wide-open Rick Nash, who’d been left in the slot by Seidenberg. Nash scored with ease to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
RIGHT STUFF FOR VATRANO
Fresh off a two-goal game in his return to the lineup from an upper-body injury, Frank Vatrano was moved up to Patrice Bergeron‘s line with Brad Marchand on Friday. That meant that Vatrano, a left wing since being recalled earlier this month, skated as a right wing.
The change didn’t seem to slow Vatrano at all, as he fit right in on Boston’s top line. The rookie continued to throw pucks at the net and was second on the Bruins with a plus-15 Corsi through two periods.
HAYES DEMOTED, BUSTS OUT OF SLUMP
The Bruins’ lineup changes also saw Hayes demoted to a new-look fourth line that was centered by Landon Ferraro. The B’s lineup was as follows:
Seidenberg- Colin Miller
Hayes had entered Friday’s game with no points in his previous eight nine games, a slump that ended with his second-period assist on Connolly’s power play goal.
BELESKEY GETS AWAY WITH ONE, AND SO DOES HANK
Dylan McIlrath took umbrage when Matt Beleskey threw Derek Stepan into the boards just over eight minutes into the second period, with the Rangers defenseman responding by promptly beating down the B’s left wing. Though Beleskey figured to be in line for a boarding penalty on the play in addition to the matching fighting majors, it was McIlrath who was given the extra penalty in the form of an instigating minor, putting the Bruins on the power play.
That led to Connolly’s power play goal, giving the B’s an important goal on a man advantage they probably didn’t deserve.
That wasn’t the extent of the bad calls Friday. Henrik Lundqvist got away with fairly egregious embellishment on a third-period play that saw him oversell contact with Brad Marchand to land Marchand in the box for goaltender interference. That led to a J.T. Miller power play goal.