The Bruins were a period away from letting the Panthers back into the race for the last playoff spot, but once again, Ryan Spooner’s line came through late. David Pastrnak had the game-tying goal, while Milan Lucic netted the game-winner with 1:09 remaining.
The win improved the Bruins to 91 points on the season with five games left in the regular season. Florida, who entered the game trailing Boston by four points and fewer regulation and overtime wins, are now six points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining. The Senators were trailing the Red Wings at the time that Boston’s game concluded.
Tuesday marked the second-straight game in which a member of Spooner’s line netted the game-winning goal. David Pastrnak scored the deciding goal in overtime of Saturday’s win over the Hurricanes.
With Florida holding a 2-1 lead midway through the third period, Ryan Spooner threw the puck toward the net from along the wall, with David Pastrnak redirecting it past Roberto Luongo in front of the net. Lucic would later walk into the offensive zone and fire a shot past Luongo from the high slot to give Boston the win.
The line’s third period was a nice response from the line after being on the ice for a second-period Brad Boyes goal. With the goal for and goal against, following is the line’s updated production:
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
ERIKSSON HITS 20
Loui Eriksson made a heck of a play during a first-period 4-on-4 to give Boston the only goal of the first period. Eriksson buzzed around the offensive zone before jumping on an Aleksander Barkov turnover and escaping Aaron Ekblad and Dmitry Kulikov in the slot. He then got Roberto Luongo to bite on a deke before roofing the puck with a backhander.
The goal was Eriksson’s 20th of the season, giving the 29-year-old five such campaigns. He had 10 goals over 61 games last season for Boston.
Eriksson is the Bruins’ third 20-goal scorer this season. Lucic (18) is the only other realistic candidate to hit 20. Boston had five 20-goal scorers last season.
Eriksson’s goal and Tuukka Rask‘s seven saves in the first period meant that the Bruins hit the first intermission with a lead for the third consecutive game. The Bruins have now outscored opponents, 5-0, in their last three games.
BRUINS GIVE ONE AWAY
This is not the time of year to allow bad goals, but such was the case in the second period when Matt Bartkowski and Tuukka Rask collectively gave one to Brad Boyes.
Bartkowski whiffed on a stumbling puck at the offensive blue line, with Boyes stealing it and sprinting through the neutral zone. Boyes then beat Rask off the rush with a shot that snuck in five-hole.
Bartkowski needed to be better with the puck and Rask needed to make the save. Both players failed and the result was a goal against.
STOP THE FIGHT
Adam McQuaid may have challenged Shawn Thornton to fight following a second-period hit on Dennis Seidenberg. Whether he did or didn’t, the Bruins are probably better off that no gloves were dropped.
Like it or not, the Bruins aren’t exactly overflowing with right-shot defensemen right now. With Kevan Miller out for the season and Dougie Hamilton out for the foreseeable future, McQuaid and Zach Trotman are the only righties on Boston’s blue line. If McQuaid were to get hurt, the team would either need to move Torey Krug to the right side (Seidenberg is already playing the right side) or dip into the likes of Steve Eminger, Chris Breen or Chris Casto from Providence.
As such, McQuaid (and probably all other Bruins defensemen, especially righties) should keep their gloves on for the time being.