Just one night after suffering a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins picked up arguably their most important win of the season tonight. With third stringer Dan Vladar in goal on the second night of a back-to-back, the Bruins pulled out a huge 2-1 victory to prevent themselves from slipping further down the standings. Trent Frederic scored the game winner seven minutes into the third period, and the defense was able to hold down the fort and come away with the win.
Things weren’t looking as good for the Bruins after last night’s loss. Despite taking 43 shots on the night, they were only able to find the back of the net once, courtesy of Matt Grzelcyk early in the first period. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry had a fantastic game, and was able to thwart the Bruins attack for the rest of the night. Jaroslav Halak didn’t have as great a night, as he faced only 25 shots but let three of them in, which was a big reason the B’s fell. It felt like a typical loss for the Bruins, where their sloppy defensive play and inability to capitalize on offense cost them the game.
Coming into the second night of a back-to-back, things didn’t look good for the Bruins. With their third string goalie in net, it seemed like the Bruins were unlikely to pull out a victory. Yet the Bruins jumped out to an early lead and stayed neck and neck with the Penguins throughout the game before Frederic buried the winner. Vladar had 34 saves on the night, which has to be considered a good night from your third string keeper. Vladar’s best save came shortly after Pastrnak’s opening goal, and ended up being a potentially game saving stop.
The Bruins had a chance to put some distance between them and the Penguins in the second period when Brandon Tanev picked up a 5 minute major for boarding on Jarred Tinordi. With five minutes of 5 on 4, you figure the Bruins would atleast pick up one goal, but they really didn’t generate any good looks, to the point where Pittsburgh had the best scoring chance with 1-on-1 break which Vladar turned aside. It was a tough stretch for the B’s, and they were lucky to overcome it, as that could have eventually come back to bite them.
Despite that, there was a lot to like from the Bruins in this victory. The depth of the team really shined, especially Vladar. When Tinordi was unable to return to the game, Jakub Zboril was able to step up and put in some solid shifts in the third period. It’s always nice to see some of the offensive depth step up too, and Frederic provided tonight. It’s tough to always have to rely on the “Perfection Line” to provide, and it looked like they would be the only source of scoring for most of the night. But Frederic stepped up in a big way to help send the B’s home happy.
After splitting their past two two-game sets, the Bruins will head on up to Buffalo to play two games against the Sabres. The Sabres are cellar-dwellers in the East Division, and the Bruins will look to keep up their momentum from this victory over the Penguins. If they can’t pull off two wins against the Sabres, they could be in trouble.
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