The Boston Bruins continued their Western Conference road trip tonight visiting the Minnesota Wild.
Tonight was the third game of a four-game road trip for Boston. The good news, Patrice Bergeron made his return to the lineup tonight, after missing the past 13 games. The bad news, the Bruins are still without Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, Rick Nash, Jake DeBrusk and David Backes.
Minnesota was facing their second of a back-to-back after having most of the week off. As the Wild continue to fight for playoff positioning in their division, they looked to build off of last night’s win.
While the Wild may be glad to get at least a point out of tonight, they will need to do better than that the last few weeks of the season. Of course, Brad Marchand and the Bruins have something to celebrate as he scored his fifth OT goal this season.
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The Wild appeared to be tired from last night’s win, as they came out a bit sluggish. The Bruins were able to play with some pressure in the first half, but nothing quite materialized, and a slow start to the game. Just past the midway point of the period, Minnesota jumped on the powerplay, after a Krug high-stick. That seemed to be a bit of a momentum switch. While Boston held them off, they did get some good chances, and the game started to pick up.
The game remained scoreless after one, with Boston just etching by Minnesota 12-11 in shots.
Two minutes into the period, it looked like the Boston Bruins found the back of the net first. But, Riley Nash got called for goaltender interference. No denying there was contact, but the acting job from Alex Stalock might have helped just a little bit.
Just a minute later, David Pastrnak finished from the top of the circle to give Boston the lead and earn his 30th of the year. The Wild responded with some pressure in the offensive zone. After a battle in-front, the puck found the back of the net. But, it was well after the whistle had blown and the Bruins lead remained at one.
Shortly after, the Bruins went on the powerplay twice, had some great movement and chances but could not convert. Tuukka Rask continued to have a strong performance and made some key saves throughout the period.
The third period continued the same flow of most of the game. There were some chances here and there for both sides, no edge-of-your-seat action, and the energy in the building was not relatively high.
That changed with just about ten minutes remaining in the game. The Wild finally got on the board and tied the game at one. A shot from the point took a heavy bounce off the end boards right back out front and was jammed in past Tuukka by Mikko Koivu. Since then, the tempo and energy around the arena seemed to pick up. But, this game needed more than 60 minutes to decide a winner.
Brad “OT” Marchand did it again! His fifth overtime goal this season, just 28 seconds in. A quick break down the side and a great top shelf, far-side finish for the Bruins leading goal scorer.
With those two points tonight, the Bruins moved up just two points behind Tampa with a game in-hand. Sure makes for an interesting couple remaining weeks of the season! Boston finishes up their road-trip Tuesday at Winnipeg, who now have also clinched a playoff berth.