The Boston Bruins might have lost their penalty kill streak but they continue to be undefeated in regulation and at home so far this season.
The Bruins had a shaky start to the game but managed well with their first penalty kills of the night. A tip by David Clarkson on a point shot from Patrick Elias ended the PK streak for the Bruins. Speaking of penalties however, the officiating of this game (like many others around the league and so far this season) is questionable. It seems the hot button went from player to player interference to goalie interference. Dan Paille made little to no contact with David Clarkson which somehow sent Clarkson into Johan Hedberg, and David Krejci was shoved directly into Johan Hedberg in the crease. Both calls seem to blur the line of what exactly is goaltending interference now in the leauge, Los Angeles and Phoenix had to deal with calls like this in their game a few nights ago which resulted in two goals being waived.
Nathan Horton tied the game up late in the third period with a great breakout feed from Lucic and Krejci. Anyone weary of Horton since the concussion last January should be able to lay the fear to rest once and for all, Horton logged his third goal of the season and has found his touch back as both Krejci and Lucic are finding their own rhythms as the games go on.
Tyler Seguin seems to have begun to find his NHL form back as he impressed with two crafty moves on the shootout. The first goal was disallowed after debris was sent on to the ice, which the refs felt interfered with Johan Hedberg from making a proper save. This is odd considering the debris was behind Hedberg and had already passed Hedberg before he attempted the save on Seguin’s first attempt. Seguin’s second attempt didn’t fail to impress either as he scored back to back to give the Bruins a 1 up over the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk would add the only Devils shootout goal with a deadly snipe on Tuukka Rask. Despite this, Marchand managed to sneak a puck through Hedberg and Rask made a final save on Marek Zidlicky to win the game 2-1.
The Bruins failed to repeat the powerplay magic that was alive in Carolina, and while they were able to move the puck around the ice and even get shots on goal, it remains a struggle for Boston. The penalty kill was still impressive despite giving up the goal and ending the streak. Short handed production remains at a low for Boston, it seems just dumping the puck is the strategy for the Bruins and while it works, a few short handed markers wouldn’t look too bad for the Bruins.
The Bruins will face off against Buffalo on January 31 at the TD Garden for their first match up of the season. Buffalo spent the off season stacking up on toughness, will they give the Bruins a run for their money or will the muscles deflate once the Bears are poked?