The Boston Bruins beat the San Jose Sharks down easily during Team Teal’s annual trip to TD Garden. That’s not to say that nothing interesting happened, though. Just 27 seconds into the game, Timo Meier dropped the gloves with Brandon Carlo, setting up the power forward nicely to go for a potential Gordie Howe hat trick.
Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. The Bruins started scoring fairly early, notching the first goal of the night at 7:16 in the first period. The goal marked Hampus Lindholm’s sixth of the season.
The second period went much like the first, as San Jose put up just five shots on goal in each of the first two periods. Boston, however, added two more goals to their tally in the first 10 minutes of the middle frame. Charlie McAvoy notched his fourth of the year and Nick Foligno snagged his seventh.
Both teams’ penalty kill squads were perfect through 40 minutes of play, each playing six minutes on the kill through the first two periods. San Jose’s third-ranked penalty kill held strong against Boston’s third-ranked power play.
The third period opened with a minor penalty to Mario Ferraro, resulting in Boston’s fourth goal of the night, a power play goal from David Pastrnak for his 36th of the season. It would be the only goal of the period. Despite a late-period PK, the Sharks were able to hold the B’s to just six shots during the third. The Sharks managed to outshoot the Bruins eight to six during the third period, but total shots still ended in Boston’s favor at 22 to 18 on the night.
Will the Sharks respond?
San Jose certainly responded to the disappointing loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Whether or not that response is positive depends on how you look at it.
Obviously there wasn’t much in terms of offense during this game. Even when the Bruins came to San Jose earlier in the month, the Sharks were able to notch a couple of goals against the best team in the league. Despite being kept off the scoresheet entirely, the Sharks saw some things improve from the previous day’s game.
The penalty kill squad absolutely held up better than on Saturday night. Allowing just one goal in five opportunities against the third-best power play squad in the league is definitely an improvement on allowing one goal in two kills against the worst power play in the league.
Five of the team’s six top forwards posted a positive shot-share percentage. In contrast, just two players could say that about the Columbus game: Noah Gregor and Nick Bonino.
It’s certainly hard to say whether or not depth scoring was improved when no one on the team was successful in scoring throughout the game. The bottom-six forwards put up fewer high-danger shots than during the previous game, but total shots were down too. The shot attempts by the third and fourth lines were also down, but shot-share was an improvement from the previous game.
If the trade rumors come to fruition, the depth might be called upon for more heavy-lifting, so maybe they’re just resting ahead of time. Load management, or whatever they call it.