by Nicole Belair, Staff Writer
Despite various ailments and injuries amongst several of their top defensemen, the Bruins finished out last week with wins against the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres. Boston faced a tough loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday, but still played exceptionally.
On Nov. 29, the Flyers took a 3-2 win at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia goaltender, Steve Mason, was credited for the victory. Mason made 45 saves through overtime, and stopped eight of the nine attempts in the shootout.
It was the Bruins’ first overtime loss of the season. But, the Bruins played skillfully, closing in on the Flyers’ two-goal lead in the third period and forcing overtime.
The Bruins were nervous heading into the game, as injuries left the team without two of its top defensemen. Just before the start of the game, John-Michael Liles was ruled out indefinitely due to a concussion suffered on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Tuesday’s game was also the fourth one that Zdeno Chara has missed, as he is currently battling a lower body injury.
Michael Del Zotto earned Philadelphia their first point at 13:56. One minute later, Austin Czarnik took a penalty, putting the Bruins on the penalty kill. The Flyers took advantage of the opportunity, as Claude Giroux lifted their lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t until the third period that the Bruins were able to eliminate the 2-0 deficit. David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored, only 78 seconds apart.
Marchand was able to score in the shootout, but it wasn’t enough for Boston to take the lead. Philadelphia won in Round 9, when Shayne Gostisbehere fired a shot that bounced off of Tuukka Rask’s glove and flew into the net.
The Bruins returned home on Thursday night to face the Carolina Hurricanes. It was the fifth game that Chara had missed, though he has resumed skating with the team.
The scoring didn’t start until 7:37 of the second period, when Hurricanes’ defenseman, Noah Hanifin, scored on a slap shot from the point. Some cheers came from the TD Garden stands following Hanafin’s goal, likely from friends and family of the Norwood, Mass., native.
Boston trailed until the final minute of the game when they tied the score 1-1, forcing overtime for the second straight game. Torey Krug was responsible for the tying goal with 31.5 seconds remaining.
The overtime went into a shootout. Boston gave their best performance of the season, securing a 2-1 win. David Pastrnak scored the deciding goal in the shootout, and Anton Khudobin made 29 saves through overtime to help the Bruins secure the lead, and ultimately the victory.
On Dec. 3, the Bruins headed to the KeyBank Center, where they would take a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Rask was at his best on Saturday, nearly shutting out the Sabres for the second time in a month. He kept Buffalo off the score sheet for over two-and-a-half periods, and made 17 of his season-high 35 saves in the third period to help Boston hold on for the win.
Krejci gave the Bruins the 1-0 lead six minutes into the first period when he tipped a shot from Brandon Carlo off the crossbar. Sabres captain, Brian Gionta, almost tied it up with 2:50 left in the second, but the goal was called back because Gionta kicked the puck past Rask. Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 with 12 minutes left in the third period. David Pastrnak fired the puck on Buffalo goalie, Robin Lehner. Bergeron collected the rebound and fired another shot toward the goal, but it was deflected into the air. Bergeron swatted the puck down to himself, and tapped in the puck for his fourth goal of the season.
Buffalo responded at 9:12 of the third period. Evander Kane received a pass from Sam Reinhart behind the net, and took a shot that bounced off of Rask’s pads. However, the Bruins held off the Sabres for the remainder of the game, finishing off with a score of 2-1.
After winning two straight games and three of their last four, the Bruins are now 14-10-1 on the season and now sit at sixth place in the Eastern conference.