October 24, 2013

Rask, Bruins steal one late from Sharks

By Jesse Connolly

Tuukka Rask sprawls out to make a stop with Sharks defenseman Jason Demers in front. (Photo: Sharon Bradley/New England Hockey Journal)

Final: Boston 2, San Jose 1

Recap: After playing in Buffalo last night, I was worried the Bruins might hang around for a while but run out of gas in the third period against the Sharks. Turns out I was off by two periods. 

Boston got outshot 15-3 in the first period but somehow survived unscathed. That edge closed to 9-7 in the second period, but this time the B's got on the board with Jarome Iginla's first tally as a member of the Black and Gold.

In the third, the Sharks knotted things up just 18 seconds in, as Patrick Marleau lifted a rebound past Tuukka Rask to make it 1-1 on his team-leading eighth goal of the season. After San Jose dominated majority of the final frame, David Krejci scored with less than a second left on the clock to help the Black and Gold steal the victory.

Records: Boston 7-2-0, 14 points; San Jose 8-1-1, 17 points

Key Play of the Game: Krejci could do nothing but offer a man-that's-just-ridiculous smile after netting the winning goal. Adam McQuaid got off a quick shot from the point and Krejci got open in front, redirecting the puck through Antti Niemi's five-hole with 0.8 left on the clock.

Connolly's Commendations: Made this joke on Twitter (*cough* @JesseNEHJ *cough*), so sorry if you caught it earlier: If the NHL Awards were like the Emmys and you sent in one performance for consideration, this would be a good one for Rask's Vezina hopes. No. 40 was simply spectacular for the B's, who got outshot 39-17. Without him, this would've been a comfortable win for the visitors.

After scoring his first goal as a Bruin on Wednesday, only for it to be subsequently credited to Milan Lucic, Iginla finally officially got on the board in this one. The irony is he scored on his lone shot of the game. Iginla had multiple shots in every game leading up to this one.

Connolly's Critiques: Was anyone actually conscious during the first period for the Bruins? I'd love to pretend it was some rope-a-dope ploy, but it's pretty clear tha wasn't the case.

I wouldn't say any of them played poorly, but five Bruins forwards ended up with zero shots: Shawn Thornton (hit a post), Chris Kelly, Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg and Jordan Caron. When nearly half of your forwards don't put a puck on net, you probably shouldn't come out victorious.

Notes: The loss was San Jose's first setback in regulation this season. ... Boston had lost five straight at home against the Sharks.

Final Thoughts: The B's simply had no business winning this one tonight. Rask was superb throughout, but keeping the Sharks off the board -- when it probably should've been at least 2-0 -- in the first period was truly something to behold, given that the team seemed to be running on fumes from the moment the puck dropped.  

Next: The Bruins will welcome the Devils to town on Saturday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com