The Boston Bruins (30-23-6) pulled an extra point out of the overtime period in San Jose (35-18-7) with a 2-1 victory on Sunday. Boston came into San Jose rested and hot, fresh off of their six day bye week, and still riding with that new coach smell.
The newly minted five-day bye week has had mixed responses around the NHL, and has not been kind to teams coming off their players’ association mandated rest period. Teams’ records in the first game back from the bye were 3-12-4 coming into Sunday’s game, but nobody told the Bruins that, apparently. The Bruins have benefited lately from the 10 game bump after firing a head coach, and they continued that run tonight, leading new bench boss Bruce Cassidy to a 4-0-0 record.
In the first, Martin Jones made a few strong saves to assuage those of us worried about his recent play, making a huge, square stop on Frank Vatrano early in the first. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stop Ryan Spooner’s ninth goal of the season from making it 1-0 Bruins at 11:05 of the first. Jones froze after a point shot from Adam McQuaid was caught in the slot by Jimmy Hayes, but Hayes missed the net as he spun to take his shot. Spooner corralled a rebound of the end boards and tucked it into the open net behind Jones to take the lead. Hayes’ assist on the goal marked his 100th career point.
Hayes records his 100th point ➡️ Spooner puts #NHLBruins up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/ihdQOjdtHu— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 20, 2017
Despite the Sharks’ second power play unit getting some good looks due to a Zdeno Chara crosscheck, and some serious even strength pressure from Boston in the final few minutes, the 1-0 score held through to the first intermission, the Bruins outshooting San Jose 9-7.
The Sharks seemed to wake up in the second period, and worked toward closing the possession gap. A penalty to Brent Burns for interference at 10:13 gave the Sharks penalty kill its first look, and they were aggressive and stifling, holding the Bruins power play to a single shot.
Skating at 4-on-4 due to matching roughing minors to Brendan Dillon and Riley Nash, Patrick Marleau potted his 21st of the season at 17:37. A wrist shot from Burns deflected off of Torey Krug over to Marleau, who put the puck past a bewildered Tuukka Rask into a wide open net. The Sharks skated into the second intermission tied at one, outshooting Boston 23-18.
Wide open for Mr. Shark. pic.twitter.com/cbo0o8iI8a— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 20, 2017
A busy third period couldn’t settle things in San Jose, where a series of solid chances from both side were greeted by equally solid saves, including this absurd stop by Jones on rookie Peter Cehlarik.
That pad save. pic.twitter.com/D5mKEEQZtw— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 20, 2017
Jones had a few more strong showings on David Pastrnak as the minutes wound down, but both teams held strong to skate out of the contest with at least one point.
The 3-on-3 overtime didn’t last long, and it was mostly dominated by the Bruins. Brad Marchand ended this one at 2:36 of overtime, placing a nifty series of moves through Jones’ five-hole to skate away with the win.
- David Pastrnak is a terrifying talent. Dude is a constant threat, and showed some crazy stick handling prowess.
- There was an unplanned TV timeout in the third period when a puck bounced off of the Jumbotron and knocked out a panel. Thanks a lot, Bruins.
- San Jose started this one slow, but came out on top of the possession battle.
- The Sharks are stockpiling loser points, they have five in the month of February, and, while losses hurt, that means that the five point lead they have over the Oilers for the lead in the Pacific is largely thanks to the magic of the three-point two-point game.
FTF Three Stars
- Tuukka Rask
- Brad Marchand
- Martin Jones