I think it’s safe to say we knew this was going to be a tough game for Boston. The Bruins were going to be without three of their defensive powerhouses tonight. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was heading to Sochi to be the flag bearer for his home country Slovakia. Dennis Seidenberg is out for the season after having surgery to repair his torn ACL/MCL. There is also the lingering lower body injury to Adam McQuaid that has kept him out the last few nights.
The Bruins and the Blues play similar hockey with deep strength in their lines. Both teams playing strong layers to prevent scoring. Tonight, it just seemed the experience of the Blues organization was cancelling out a lot of the youth and enthusiasm of the Bruins blueliners. It also didn’t help the Bruins case when Loui Eriksson lost several teeth to an obvious high stick call that the refs were either too disinterested or too oblivious to see. (Perhaps they just thought Loui Eriksson was in the need of an exorcism.) Shortly after that missed call, Saint Louis was able to get on the board courtesy of a laser delivered by Alexander Steen.
The Bruins have not been able to get a point out of a game where they have fallen behind by two. The Blues put up a second goal early in the second when Jaden Schwartz put a solid wrister past Tuukka Rask. Tuukka didn’t drift, go crazy, or do anything but hunker down and be a wall for the remainder of regulation. While the Bruins were down 2-0 at the end of the second, they have shown us that they can take salvage a bad situation. (There are still some Maple Leafs fans still groaning about game seven lasts year.) They came out with a purpose in the third period and made an argument for themselves.
The Krejci line went out to prove it’s one of the best lines in hockey. They didn’t disappoint us (and Iginla almost won it for us). They got the B’s on the board when David Krejci put one past Jaroslav Halak to get the Bruins within one. Two minutes later, Brad Marchand put in his eighteenth (once again tying with Reilly Smith for first place on the team in goals) and the Bruins had tied it up. The last eight minutes saw several opportunities for both squads to put the game away, but neither team could finish it off.
In overtime, the Bruins appeared to be the more dominant team. Claude Julien used his three forward one defenseman formation, and the Black and Gold spent the majority of the OT period in the offensive zone. Three and a half minutes later in though, T.J. Oshie chipped in a shot that looked like it want off Kelly and squirted through Rask to give the Blues the 3-2 overtime win.
Sure, it was a disappointing loss, but the Bruins came back firing on all cylinders in the third and stole a point from St. Louis. They’re still comfortably atop the Atlantic Division, and they are 7-1-2 in their last ten games. The team heads back home to take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.