Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Bruins 3, Red Wings 2: Favorable situations aplenty for rolling Bruins

Ty Anderson
February 06, 2018 - 10:52 pm

No matter the roster Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has iced against the competition this year, the Bruins have consistently put themselves in favorable situations.

Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Red Wings was no different. Even if it didn’t look it at first.  

The Bruins had little to show for what finished as a 13-shot first period, and were put in a hole when Martin Frk’s power-play one-timer got through Brandon Carlo and Tuukka Rask for the game’s first goal, scored just 2:08 into the second period.

But with two strikes in a 2:06 stretch midway through the second period -- the first from Sean Kuraly for his first in the last 29 games and the second courtesy of a putback scored by David Krejci -- the Bruins carried a lead into the second intermission.

And that has become a death sentence for the opposition.

Entering the third period of Tuesday’s head-to-head, the Bruins were a staggering 24-0-2 in games in which they’ve carried a lead into the third period. And of the B’s last 10 victories, eight saw them take a lead into the second intermission. The go-ahead goal had come in the second period in six of those eight victories, too.

Rookie winger Danton Heinen, by way of his 12th goal of the year, scored as the insurance marker early in the third period, made sure that run made it to a lethal 25-0-2.

That ability to protect leads, complete with some last-second stops from Rask in what finished as a 26-of-28 performance, has long been the mark of an excellent team.

The Penguins were the third-best team in the NHL when leading after two periods last season, and were first in this stat two seasons ago. Both seasons ended with Stanley Cup parades in Pittsburgh. Going back three seasons, the Blackhawks finished tops in the NHL in this stat, and went on to win the Stanley Cup. The 2014 Cup-winning Kings finished the regular season 8th in this stat, and 2013 Blackhawks were 10th.

The Bruins, with a .926 winning percentage, currently rank 10th in this stat. Their 25 wins are the second-most in this category, though, trailing the Stars by just one win.

The victory also extended the B’s mastery of their own division, as this was the B’s 12th straight victory over an Atlantic Division opponent, pushing them to 12-1-2 on the year. The Bruins have been a straight-up nightmare for the woeful Atlantic, too, averaging nearly 3.5 goals per game, and clicking at over 28 percent on the power play. 13 of their final 31 games, of course, will come against Atlantic opponents.

Consider it just another favorable situation.

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