The Bruins got their captain back Thursday and, for a couple periods, began to look like their old selves.
Sure, they lost to the Blackhawks (box), but their old selves used to arlingo that, too. Boston’s push in the second and third periods brought them back from a 3-0 hole. If there is to be a turnaround for the Bruins this season, Chris Kelly fighting Andrew Shaw after Torey Krug’s goal in the third period might be a moment looked back on later on down the road. Boston held Chicago to two shots on goal in the third period.
It wasn’t the prettiest night for Chara, who was playing in his first game since Oct. 28. It could have been uglier, as a defensive-zone giveaway to Marian Hossa in the first period was negated by a Tuukka Rask kick save.
Chara took a pair of penalties, first hooking Brandon Saad in the first period and then sending the puck over the glass in the defensive zone during a second period Blackhawks power play to give Chicago a 5-on-3.
David Krejci did not play. He has been limited to just 11 games this season.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
B’S DEPTH NO MATCH FOR CHICAGO
Though Thursday marked the return of Boston’s best player, it was the bottom of their roster that failed them in the first period.
Playing against Chicago’s fourth line, Boston’s bottom-six forwards and third defensive pairing allowed a pair of goals.
Boston College product Ben Smith turned in a monster of a play on the first goal in outbattling Gregory Campbell for a puck behind the net. Campbell knocked Smith down, but Smith got up with Campbell still in coverage, kicked the puck to himself and skated free before sending a shot to the top of the left circle that Klas Dahlbeck would bury past Tuukka Rask.
On Chicago’s second goal, a Blackhawks pass from the corner went off Seth Griffith’s stick and on net, with Smith jumping on the rebound and scoring.
KRUG BAILS HIMSELF OUT OF UNCHARTED TERRITORY
Torey Krug was on the ice for all three of Chicago’s goals over the first two periods and was on pace for the first minus-3 rating of his career. That changed with his third-period goal.
Krug began the game paired with Zach Trotman, but the two were split up in the second period after allowing a pair of goals. Krug was then on the ice for a Patrick Kane goal that saw both Krug and Dougie Hamilton fail to get and clear the puck amidst a scramble in front before Kris Versteeg found Kane.
Krug scored his fifth goal of the season when he flew to the net to receive a feed from Milan Lucic and bury it past Scott Darling. He received a roughing minor for his actions in a scrum after his goal.
CLEAN PLAY HAS SCARY RESULTS
A good play from Dennis Seidenberg will probably have a lot of people in Chicago calling him a dirty player over the next couple days.
After Toews saw a puck jump over his stick on the doorstep during a Chicago power play in the second period, he went to the end boards to retain it. Battling for position, Seidenberg sent him face-first into the boards, and though Toews would play on the ensuing power play and take a penalty, he left late in the second period and did not return to the game.
Seidenberg was assessed a boarding minor for the play. Though the battle resulted in a dangerous play, it wasn’t particularly ill-advised. Seidenberg was clearly trying to muscle his way around Toews and in doing so knocked Toews off the puck and into the boards. Nothing was done from behind.
Toews does a history of concussions, which makes the whole play even more unfortunate.
SODERBERG LINE PUTS THE ‘ODD’ IN ODD-MAN RUSH
With David Krejci still out, Milan Lucic continued to play with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. The trio had a three-on-one in the first period and it was just horrifying.
With Soderberg in the middle and Lucic on his off-wing coming down on the right side, Eriksson fed Soderberg as the three entered the zone against Brent Seabrook. Rather than shooting, Soderberg forced a pass way ahead of Lucic, who had already begun opening up for a potential one-timer.
Lucic wasn’t able to adjust and the puck went into the corner, resulting in a shotless three-on-one.