The Bruins are not good at killing penalties. In fact, numbers (take penalty kill percentage, for example) would suggest they’re the worst in the league at killing penalties.
Given that, games in which the Bruins often find themselves shorthanded figure to be games they’ll lose. Tuesday’s was one of them, as Boston took four second-period penalties that resulted in a pair of Sharks power play goals in a 5-4 Sharks win at TD Garden.
The B’s took all four penalties of the second period. An Adam McQuaid interference set up San Jose’s first power play of the game, with the B’s being called for a too-many-men penalty during the kill to give San Jose a 10-second 5-on-3. Though the Bruins were able to kill off the two-man advantage, Patrick Marleau scored shortly after to give the Sharks their first power play goal of the night. A Ryan Spooner tripping penalty led to a power play goal from Joe Thornton that made it 5-3. The Bruins were able to survive Tyler Randell’s roughing penalty, but they were minutes wasted shorthanded that could have been put towards chipping away at San Jose’s lead.
The Bruins were able to eventually get within one with a third-period power play goal from Patrice Bergeron (one of two power-play goals the Bruins scored on the night), but the Bruins failed to tie the game when Thornton put them on the power play at 12:40 for high-sticking Adam McQuaid. Then, with the Bruins making their final push to tie the game, a high-sticking minor from Brad Marchand with 2:40 remaining ate up valuable time the B’s would have likely spent with an extra attacker trying to net the game’s equalizer.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 8-8-1 on the season.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
Tuesday could have been a matchup of two ace goaltenders at the top of their games. It was not.
After getting off to an insane start this season, five-day Bruins property Martin Jones has proven to be human in recent weeks. His first game against the team that traded for and flipped him to San Jose this summer shouldn’t make Bruins fans lose sleep over what could have been.
Jones didn’t have to make too many great saves, and he often didn’t. Loui Eriksson’s second-period goal on a one-timer from the left circle was one Jones was in position to stop but didn’t. As all goalies do with every goal they allow, he’d like to have that one back.
Tuukka Rask wasn’t anything to write home about either. Though two goals came with the B’s shorthanded and another came off an impossible deflection, Rask still had highs and lows the outside of those goals. He was terrific in making key saves on a first-period Melker Karlsson bid and a second-period Pavelski attempt during a penalty kill. Then again, he also dropped an easy wrister he should have gloved in the third period right in front of Chris Tierney, who missed the net rather than burying what would have been a soft goal for Rask.
THORNTON LINE GIVES BERGERON LINE TROUBLE
Patrice Bergeron‘s line shuts down opposing teams’ first lines regularly. The Bergeron trio, weakened by Brad Marchand not playing on it for much of the game, met its match in the form of Joe Thornton‘s line over the first two periods.
Thornton’s line scored twice against Bergeron’s line and Zdeno Chara‘s pairing, first getting on the board in the opening minutes of the game when Melker Karlsson hit the post and Joe Pavelski buried the rebound. Karlsson scored one of his own in the second period to tie the game at the time.
SPOONER BENCHED AS JULIEN SHAKES UP LINES
Perhaps Claude Julien didn’t like Spooner’s second-period tripping penalty nearly nine minutes into the second period, or he just didn’t like the way he was playing. Spooner took two more shifts in the second period and wasn’t given a single even-strength shift in the third period until the B’s used him as an extra attacker in the game’s final minute. His other two shifts in the third came on the power play.
Julien opted to shake up his forwards and give three lines regular use in the third period. The changes saw Marchand united with Bergeron and Joonas Kemppainen leapfrog Spooner on the depth chart:
Julien hasn’t been afraid to shorten his bench this season, and Spooner was the victim Tuesday night.
BRUINS’ LEADS DON’T LAST
The Bruins led 2-1 in the first period and then 3-2 in the second period. Blown leads are nothing new for the Bruins, who have struggled all season at holding onto the lead and adding to it.
It didn’t take long for the Sharks to answer back to the Bruins Tuesday. Boston’s first lead lasted for 3:18. Their second-period lead lasted just over four minutes.