Scoring in the third period isn’t a huge problem for the Bruins. Allowing goals in the third period is.
The Bruins appeared to be home-free after a pair of goals early in the third period Tuesday gave them a 3-1 lead over the Maple Leafs, but the B’s faltered drown the stretch as Toronto scored twice to pull even in regulation before P.A. Parenteau scored a power play in overtime to give the Leafs a 4-3 victory. In the Bruins’ last six games, they have allowed as many third period goals (eight) as they’ve scored.
Though Tuessday’s result should be considered a huge disappointment, one point was enough to pull the Bruins even points-wise the Red Wings with 58 for third place in the Atlantic Division, though the Bruins have played 50 games to Detroit’s 49.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
KREJCI GIVETH, KREJCI TAKETH AWAY
David Krejci can take over a game, as was evidenced early in the third. It was ultimately his holding penalty in overtime that led to Toronto’s game-winner, however.
In a matter of 26 seconds in the third, Krejci set up Brad Marchand to break the tie and then scored a goal of his own to give the B’s a lead they’d eventually relinquish.
Krejci’s two-point game gave the veteran center a four-game points streak (one goal, four assists) in what has been a very consistent stretch for him. Dating back to Nov. 25, Krejci has points in 15 of 20 games, registering four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in that stretch.
CAREER YEAR IN REACH FOR MARCHAND, BUT TOP LINE TORCHED
As long as he doesn’t get hurt or suspended for too long, Brad Marchand will post career-best offensive numbers with ease. A two-goal performance Tuesday brought Marchand to 22 on the season, putting him six goals shy of his career-high 28 (set in 2011-12) with 31 games to play.
Not only should Marchand set a career high, he could actually push for 40 goals with a strong enough stretch run. As is, he’s currently on pace for 38 goals, which would be the most by a Bruin in the Claude Julien era and most for the franchise since Glen Murray popped in 44 back in 2002-03.
That’s the good news for the Bruins’ first line. The bad news for Patrice Bergeron and friends is that they had a rare experience of getting torched possession-wise in regulation. Playing mostly against Nazem Kadri’s line, Bergeron had a Corsi For percentage of 25 through three periods, with only linemate Brett Connolly’s 21.74 mark ranking worse among skaters Tuesday night.
For the second time in the last five games, Joonas Kemppainen served as a healthy scratch for the Bruins. Max Talbot continued to center the Bruins’ fourth line with Kemppainen in the press box, as the Bruins used the following lineup:
BELESKEY HELPING OUT
Matt Beleskey picked up where he left off, as he followed his two-assist performance in the pre-break finale with a nifty play Tuesday that led to a Bruins goal. Beleskey wheeled around to make an impressive behind-the-back pass to Jimmy Hayes, leading to a shot that yielded a rebound on which Brad Marchand scored his 21st goal of the season.
The assist gave Beleskey 17 on the season, and with his eight goals he is now on pace for a career-best 42 points. Beleskey’s best offensive campaign was last season, when he registered 32 points in 65 games for the Ducks.