Boston Bruins new additions shine in victory over Carolina

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Rick Nash /

Sunday came with some excellent news for the Boston Bruins faithful.  Tuesday came with some awful news.  But there was still a game to be played.

Boston Bruins fans woke up on Sunday and saw the addition of Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins.  This was clearly a move to show that they are “all-in” and will be going all out to win the Stanley Cup this season.  The team also made other deadline moves on Sunday and Monday, signing Olympian Brian Gionta and trading for veteran Tommy Wingels.

Boston Bruins
BUFFALO, NY – FEBRUARY 25: Charlie McAvoy /

Well, those depth moves were certainly smart in hindsight, because then came the bad news.  Fans learned on Tuesday that Patrice Bergeron would be sidelined for the next two weeks (at least) as he recovers from a fractured foot.   That left

The Bruins newest addition in Wingels was immediately called upon for tonight’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes, playing on the 3rd line, while Riley Nash centered Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.  All other forward lines remained the same from Sunday, but Brandon Carlo returned in place of Adam McQuaid, who had the golden sombrero of hockey games (on ice for all 4 goals).

1st period

The game started on a very face pace, with two teams featuring lots of young players going all out.  The first 10 minutes of the period saw some solid back-and-forth action, with both teams generating chances.  Those chances turned into goals in very short order.

At 10:01 into the period, the Hurricanes were on the power play after Brad Marchand negated a Bruins power play.  While on the man advantage, Brock McGinn was unchallenged in front of Tuukka Rask, and was able to bat the puck in out of midair passed the Bruins goalie.  The 1-0 lead would be shortlived, however.

Jake DeBrusk relentlessly forechecked along the boards.  After stealing the puck one-handed from Justin Faulk and getting it to David Krejci, the puck found its way to a wide open Rick Nash in front of the net.  Nash did exactly what he was brought to Boston to do, and deposited the puck behind Scott Darling to tie the game, after saving a goal himself earlier in the game.  Unfortunately, the tie would last long for the Bruins.

Teuvo Teravainen on the power play and Sebastian Aho even strength scored goals about 6 minutes apart to spot the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead with less than a minute left in the period.  It seemed like that’s how the period would end, but enter the newest Bruin, Tommy Wingels.  The wily vet pressured the puck hard in the offensive zone when the Hurricanes seemed to be coasting, and one-handed the puck to Riley Nash.  Nash danced around Darling and slide the puck into the open cage, cutting the lead to 1 to end the period.

More from Causeway Crowd

2nd period

The Bruins were clearly not satisfied with their level of play in the 1st period, and it showed.  Bruce Cassidy must have given one heck of an intermission pep talk to his team, because the team was skating like a different team out of the break.

The Bruins were playing a much more solid game defensively, and using their defense to generate offense.  A little over 5 minutes into the frame, the speedy DeBrusk stayed on the ice as his linemates changed and found himself with the puck streaking down the left wing.  Wingels, fresh on the ice, kept a lane open between himself and DeBrusk, who found the new #57 with the puck.  Wingels then went top corner, scoring his first goal as a Bruin.

The Bruins clearly had all of the momentum on their side at this post.  Wingels on the following shift clanged one off the iron.  Krejci fed DeBrusk for a near breakaway.  Rick Nash had some good chances.  Carolina likewise had their opportunities, but Rask held strong, and the period ended in a 3-3 tie.

3rd period and beyond

The 2nd period momentum carried over into the 3rd for the Bruins, but the Hurricanes weren’t going away either.  The teams traded chances early in the period, but neither was able to capitalize on their opportunities.  This was thanks largely to solid play by each team’s blueline.

Neither team generated any sustained pressure on the other, and most of this period was played in the neutral zone.  After 60 minutes, the teams were tied 3-3, and we headed to overtime.

Rick Nash wanted to end the game for his new team, but it was the other R. Nash who helped get it done.  Riley Nash made a strong play along the boards in the defensive zone and sprung the puck to a charging Charlie McAvoy.  He and Marchand were 2-on-1, but rather than pass, McAvoy decided to end the game right then and there.

Takeaways from the game

  • Rick Nash’s 1st period goal was his 800th career point, and his first in a Bruins uniform.  He was all over the ice tonight, playing the 200 foot game he’s been known for in his career.
  • There is no replacing Patrice Bergeron, but there’s a reason at Causeway Crowd #InDonWeTrust.  His last minute addition of Tommy Wingels for a conditional 5th round pick could prove to be a steal if his play helps the Bruins make it through these two weeks without Bergeron.  He had two points (1-1) in his debut…not too shabby.
  • The Bruins special teams have got to be better if they want to make noise come April.  The power play looked anemic, and the penalty kill gave up too many chances in the scoring zones.
  • McAvoy had gone over two months before he scored in Sunday’s game.  Now he has goals in back-to-back games.

Next: Bruins Week 21: About to get Nashty