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.
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.
In a game that saw the Bruins and Senators combine for an amazing 97 shots in regulation, it was Boston who put more in the back of the net, earning a 3-2 victory over Ottawa last night at TD Garden. The Bruins top offensive line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton picked up right where they left off over the weekend, with Krejci and Horton scoring the first and third goals respectively, with Tyler Seguin adding the second off a beautiful feed from Brad Marchand. Anton Khudobin, starting his second consecutive game after a strong performance against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, was again sharp in between the pipes stopping 45 of 47 Ottawa shots for his eighth win of the season.
The win did come at a cost however, as center Patrice Bergeron left the game in the second period and did not return after a collision with Senator forward Colin Greening, where it appeared that Bergeron took a forearm/elbow to the head while battling for a loose puck. Information on Boston’s best two way player and current leading scorer was not available after the game, so expect further updates today.
The Boston Bruins finally wrapped up a hectic month of March yesterday with 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres, just a day after they took a 3-1 loss in a lackluster effort against the Philadelphia Flyers. The win over the Sabres closes a 17 games in 30 days stretch that saw the black and gold post a mediocre 9-6-2 record, but still good enough to maintain the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standing. Meanwhile the NHL trade deadline continues to loom large, as GM Peter Chiarelli continues to work the phones in hopes of filling some holes in the Bruins lineup.
Along with another loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday, Bruins fans had to deal with the possibility of being without center David Krejci for an extended period after he took a Johnny Boychuk slap shot to the top of the knee in the closing minutes of the game. Krejci would not return, and though he was seen walking afterwards and also traveled with the team to Winnipeg, there was no official word on his condition (you’ll remember Chris Kelly also traveled with the team to their next game before it was announced he had a broken tibia).
Day to Day, No Broken Bones
Luckily, coach Claude Julien had an update today, and it was relatively positive. ”He came in for treatment and he’s day-to-day. There’s no broken bones, the damage is from the shot, as you know. But, again, he’s getting treatment and we’re hoping he’ll be back soon. It’s nothing serious to the point where we’re talking about weeks.”
Julien added that they’ll check in again with him tomorrow and take it from there. Krejci didn’t skate today and likely will not play when the Bruins take on the Jets tomorrow night at the MTS IcePlex in Winnipeg. Many of the Bruins were already talking today about needing to step up in Krejci’s and Kelly’s absence, which will be important as the Jets are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and have worked their way to the top of the Southeast Division.