The Boston Bruins‘ three-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday night, losing 3-2 at the hands of the Minnesota Wild.
The Wild stopped a four-game skid of their own to get their 20th win of the season.
There was a common theme in this one – power plays. Because boy, were there a ton of penalties.
The Bruins benefitted from an early power play in this one. Two penalties on the Wild were called at the same time, giving the Bruins a two-minute 5 on 3. While Patrice Bergeron would get called for a penalty during the man advantage to knock it down to a 5 on 4, Boston still capitalized.
A beneficial deflection and Hall’s shot went off Jonas Brodin and in, but they’ll take it. An early 1-0 lead for Boston.
I said remember that theme right? Well Boston was called for two penalties at the same as well, giving the Wild a two-minute 5 on 3. They too took advantage with the Bruins being two men down, with star Kirill Kaprizov with a rocket of a one-timer.
Minnesota wasn’t done. Still on the power play, Nico Sturm deflected a shot from Brodin to give the Wild the lead late in the first.
Well executed face off from the Wild that finds the puck in the back of the net. Wild would take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Things got a bit testy in the second. Trent Frederic hit Kaprizov while the Wild forward has beginning to fall down and that caused Dmitry Kulikov to come to his defense.
It’s safe to say Frederic is a fighter, Kulikov is not. The Bruins center landed a number of punches on Kulikov in the one-sided affair.
Frederic was given a boarding minor and while the Wild didn’t score on the PP, 12 seconds after play resumed 5 on 5, Matt Boldy scored his first career NHL goal.
Well executed give-and-go between Boldy and Marcus Foligno to extend the lead for Minnesota.
Boston would close the game back to one just over three minutes later when Marchand secured a power play goal.
The part of this plat that might get overlooked – when the loose puck comes to Bergeron, he doesn’t even have to look to know where Marchand is. Gives a blind backhand pass over to that area and Marchand slams it home. That’s knowing where your teammates are.
3-2 Wild after 2.
Just over a minute into the third and Foligno – Marcus that is – went after Frederic, who dropped the gloves for a second time.
Foligno is very much a fighter and got the better of Frederic in the second tilt.
While the Bruins got some pressure on Wild goaltender Kappo Kahkonen, nothing was getting passed him in the final 20.
The Wild took this one 3-2.
- OK the officiating was uh, not great! Wasn’t great on either side, but sure felt like the Bruins got the short end of the stick more often. Wild finished the night with eight power plays to the Bruins’ five
- That said, there were some DUMB penalties taken. Like the Bergeron interference. Like the Frederic boarding. Plays that were avoidable and given how the refs were calling everything, the bruins should have known better
- Speaking of the Frederic hit, I’ll put it this way – if that’s Marcus Foligno hitting Pastrnak like that, Bruins fans are in an uproar. I do think Frederic already had committed to the hit before Kaprizov started falling so it made the outcome worse, but why does he have to even go for a hit there? Matt Grzelcyk is already engaged with Kaprizov, as the second guy in, you’re supposed to take the puck. I wouldn’t be surprised if Frederic hears from the Department of Player Safety, but also given how inconsistent they are, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t
- We saw a brief reunion of the top line with Pastrnak jumping to take Craig Smith’s place. I don’t think it’s a permanent switch, Bruce Cassidy said after the game it was just because the team needed a spark and with all the penalties in the first half of the game, Smith wasn’t getting out there as much so he wasn’t as fresh
- Taylor Hall was buzzing out there. Could (should) have drawn at least three penalties in the game, but for some reasons Chris Rooney and Corey Syvret put the whistles away on those plays. Wasn’t until the interference call on Alex Goligoski in the 3rd that Hall drew one
- Sucked that it as against the Bruins and it ended up the game-winner, but a really cool moment for Matt Boldy. A Massachusetts kid who played at Boston College making his NHL debut in front of his family and friends is sweet enough. But how about potting your first NHL goal in that same game? Feel-good moment for Matt and the Boldy
So the Bruins are still looking for a four-game winning streak this season. That’s a tough Minnesota team, even without all the players they’re missing. Bruins certainly did not play bad, it’s a game they can build off of.
A much tougher matchup looms ahead against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Boston hasn’t played them yet this season at full strength, so it’ll be a fun one this weekend.