That one feels so good. The Bruins earned a rare home victory tonight by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. Super skilled David Pastrnak scored the first two Bruins goals, including one on a penalty shot. The Bruins held the 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd period where they eventually exploded, pumping home three unanswered goals from Jimmy Hayes, Landon Ferraro, and Brad Marchand.
Here are BostonPucks.com’s 3 thoughts on tonight’s game:
1) Tuukka Was Solid Tonight
Tuukka made a season high 41 saves tonight and every one was needed. The only goal he gave up was off of a rebound that went into the net by going off the skate of a stopping Tom Kuhnackl. Other than that Tuukka was Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected.
This was vintage Rask, always in control and making it look easy. He did not have to make a lot of spectacular saves, but at times kept the Bruins in the game especially early on when the Penguins were outplaying the Bruins. Here at BostonPucks.com we say this a lot so we will say it again; the Bruins need Tuukka to play MVP type hockey if they want to be anything more than a one and done team in the playoffs.
2) Joe Morrow Is Getting Better Every Game He Plays
I thought Joe Morrow had a real solid game tonight. Countless times he carried the puck out of the defensive zone and was either able to carry it into the Penguins zone or dump it in. Earlier in the year you would not have seen that from Morrow. Even in his short stint with the Bruins last year, Morrow was playing a very conservative game. It seemed like he did not want to make a mistake which isn’t uncommon for a young d-man. Now with every game he plays he is gaining the confidence to be the puck moving defenseman that the Bruins thought they were getting when Morrow was a part of the Tyler Seguin trade.
It is hard to see everything Morrow does in the d-zone on television with the different camera angles but he seemed to be making the right plays all night. He was on the ice for Pittsburgh’s lone goal and he should have been covering Kuhnackl betteras he drove to the net, but in fairness the goal went in off the guy’s skate. Depending on the upcoming NHL trade deadline it looks like Morrow will continue to get an opportunity to play and continue to develop into a reliable puck moving defenseman.
3) Secondary Scoring Is Nice
It seems like every game we look at the box score and it’s the usual suspects. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Loui Eriksson all carrying the offense for the Bruins. Tonight was a different story, and it was a welcomed one.
David Pastrnak came alive by burying two great goals. Landon Ferraro showed some magnificent speed when he went shelf on a break away. And Jimmy Hayes finished off a beautiful sequence that started with an Adam McQuaid blocked shot, a Ryan Spooner rocket ride up the ice, and finished with a tap in for Jimmy:
The sharing of the wealth in the goal column is a major positive for the Bruins.
Third period collapses and blown close games have happened too often this season. And in that kind of game like tonight, where Tuukka bought time for the team in front of him, rarely do you think of anyone but the big names to help out the goalie. Players like Pastrnak, Ferraro, and Hayes take a lot of pressure of the heavy lifters when they can chip in like they did tonight and needs to continue to happen more frequently than it has.
- It is good to have Adam McQuaid back and fully healthy. He had a beast of a game and he changes the tone of that defense when he is in the lineup. It is not a surprise that the Bruins defense was more leaky with McQuaid out of the lineup.
- Huge 2 points for the Bruins with the Pens on their playoff tail. Tonight was one of those 4-point swing games, where if the Bruins lost they’d be tied with Pittsburgh at 70 points in the Wildcard slot. Instead, the regulation win gives the B’s a 72-68 point separation and pulls them out of the Wildcard.
- Pastrnak’s 7 shots on net tonight was the same amount as Bergeron, Eriksson, Krejci, Marchand, and Beleskey… combined.
- Pastrnak became the youngest player in Bruins history to score on a penalty shot.
- Brad Marchand’s 31st goal of the season tonight was a beauty: