Thanks to his always entertaining floppy fish out of water goaltending style Anton Khudobin was able to seal a Bruins 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at the Garden.
Khudobin was the key, making 36 saves, and plenty were of the “big” variety. Dobby came up especially large in the third period, safely controlling rebounds, as San Jose dictated most of the action and created a lot of traffic in front of him. Without question he was difference maker in this one.
Here are some of the other key hits from the game:
- Well just as I predicted in my blog yesterday Danton Heinen had a little magic in store Thursday. He scored his first AND second career NHL goals. The first came on a nice rebound (or ugly if you’re Martin Jones) that he banged home while driving the net shorthanded. The second came attacking the net while playing a hard shot puck that came off the end boards and back toward the goal mouth. Heinen’s point-per-game, and then some, streak remains intact. The kid is good:
- David Backes took over centering the second unit for the injured David Krejci and did a nice job. He grabbed an assist on Heinen’s first NHL goal and although it was nothing flashy he was solid all night. Just a dependable anchor for the rookies playing around him.
- With what little bad the B’s had to endure probably the worst thing they faced all night was being shorthanded 6 times. One time they were down 5-on-3, and even late in the game they fought off a 6-on-4 final surge from the Sharks. Overall the PK units did a real nice job but they have got to cut down the amount of time they’re spending on the box.
- Sean Kuraly was the biggest offender of the night. He took three minor penalties before the game was even half over. After committing the worst/third crime, covering the puck with his hand, Joe Thornton tied the game at 1-1 with a power play tap in from a foot out. That was enough for Bruce Cassidy to park Kuraly on the pine.
- Joe Thornton’s goal made some history as well. It tied him with Jari Kurri in 20th place (1,398 points) on the NHL’s all-time scoring leaders list. That’s about as impressive as it gets. I love Joe.
- I thought Frank Vatrano played a nice game. Again he was held scoreless but he was engaged, showing off his wheels when needed, and had a few real nice chances throughout the night. Unfortunately for Frank he still has a harder time creating space and even better opportunities for himself than some of the higher skilled players do. But it was still a good game for him.
- Patrice Bergeron went 4-for-5 against Joe Thornton in the faceoff circle. I mean, that’s decent I guess.
- Zdeno Chara was so good in this one. Twenty-six minutes of ice time, including a 2+ minute shift amidst a penalty kill, and he was seconds away from bodybagging Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon. He was dialed in. He just refuses to let father time get the upper hand, showing he can still be a premiere shutdown defenseman.
The Bruins are right back at it Saturday night (7pm) at the Garden when they take on the Los Angeles Kings. Yours truly will be there in person so if you’re looking to grab a #BeerForTheGame make sure to hit up our Twitter @BostonPucks and we can make that happen.