If you’re a Bruins fan and have been paying attention this season, Toronto forward James Van Riemsdyk’s power play goal just 1:54 into last night’s game probably didn’t give you a great feeling about Boston’s chances in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Luckily, the Black and Gold seemed to find that proverbial “switch” they’ve been referring to shortly after, exploding for four unanswered goals and 40 shots on net, handing the Maple Leafs an embarrassing 4-1 loss in the first game of the series. Tuukka Rask stopped 19 Toronto shots in net for the B’s, while David Krejci led the way offensively with a goal and two assists.
It was a disappointing finish to the 2013 regular season for the Boston Bruins, who lost back to back games and the top spot in the Northeast Division over the weekend. A 3-2 overtime loss to the Capitals on Saturday night was followed up by a 4-2 loss to the Senators last night at the Garden, dropping the Bruins to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference where they will face the fifth seed Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
With just a few points separating the Boston Bruins from the middle of the playoff pack, and with the rival Montreal Canadiens (tied with the Bruins in points in the standings) in action in Winnipeg, the black and gold couldn’t afford another disappointing showing like the one on display Tuesday in Philadelphia. It would appear as if they received that message loud and clear last night, putting forth a solid, workman-like effort to earn a 2-0 shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille did the scoring and Tuukka Rask stopped all 26 shots he faced, including some dazzling saves on Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos, to lead the Bruins to the win.
The wheels are dangerously close to falling off for the Boston Bruins as they head down the home stretch of the regular season. After subpar performances for most of the past two weeks, the Black and Gold came away with a rather unimpressive 3-0 win over the Panthers on Sunday, only to be taken to task last night by the Philadelphia Flyers, losing a by a disappointing 5-2 margin to a team on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. A relatively strong first period was followed by a lackluster second that saw the Flyers tally two goals in just seven seconds, before adding two more in the final period. The loss underscores the issues with the team right now, a lack of confidence, an inability to put together a full 60 minute effort, and a complete lack of puck management. Time is short to right the ship with the playoffs just a week away.
After a completely hectic week around the city of Boston, the Bruins hoped to help restart the healing process and sense of normalcy by earning wins this weekend against the Penguins and Panthers. While they couldn’t manage to carry the positive emotions forward from the previous night on Saturda, suffering a 3-2 loss to the Pens, a 3-0 win over the Panthers and an emotional “Shirts Off Their Back” ceremony today certainly helped to move things in the right direction, as Boston temporarily took back the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference from the Montreal Canadiens.