Tuukka Leads Bruins To 2-1 Rope-A-Dope Win In Montreal

Maybe one the girls here has some power play answers.

Thanks again to the stellar play of Tuukka Rask and four points in two minutes from David Krejci & Tyler Seguin, the undermanned Bruins eked out a nice 2-1 win in Montreal last night to grab hold of the Wales’ top spot. The lanky Finn held the Habs at bay in the first period as the Bs withstood an amped-up Canadiens squad and their 11-4 shot advantage. But halfway through the game, the newly-signed P.K. Subban gave the Habs a 1-0 lead when his shot changed direction after hitting Rich Peverley’s stick.

Between the second and third periods, Claude made the decision (or maybe he’s a closet Stoolie) to move Seguin up to the first line with Krejci so he could pair his best pure scorer with his best pure playmaker. The results were immediate.

Just 14 seconds into the final frame, Seguin knotted things up when he backhanded a sweet Krejci feed past a helpless Carey Price. Less than two minutes later, #19 returned the favor by assisting on Krejci’s third of the year and eventual game-winner (though it was Milan Lucic’s deft pass that earned the primary assist). Coming down on a 3-on-2, Seguin dished to the burly left-winger who then sent a perfect goal-mouth feed that 46 converted.

With the lead in hand, the Bs buckled down defensively, limiting the Habs to just five shots in the third period. On the few occasions when Montreal did threaten, Rask snuffed out the chance.

All in all, a pretty good night up north. The Bs were missing two of their best penalty killers in Brad Marchand and Dan Paille and, due to injuries, the fourth line was made up entirely of Providence Bruins (though they acquitted themselves fine in a limited role). But the Bs, as has become their trademark, just soldiered on. Rask kept them in the game early before they had their skating legs underneath them and were able to finally counter-punch Montreal in the third. He was the difference for the Bs tonight.

A few more buds for your “Blizzard of ‘13” bowl…

*The power play once again had another stellar night, this time going 0-for-4. This is certainly no knock on Ryan Spooner, who made his NHL debut last night and projects to be a fine NHL player some day, but it’s probably not a good sign for your PP when you’re putting an injury call-up immediately on the first unit in his first NHL game. I’m half-expecting a suggestion box at the Garden Saturday to solve this dilemma that now extends into three seasons. The Bs have scored three goals in 34 power plays, ‘good’ for a 8.8% clip. Only the Rangers’ 8.6 is worse in the league.

*On the other hand, the penalty killing remains stellar despite giving up a PPG to Subban last night. It was just the third goal surrendered in 39 times short-handed (with one shorty). The 92.3% is second to only the Chicago Blackhawks and their 94.9.

*The Bs are scheduled to take on Tampa Bay at 1 o’clock on Saturday. If you’re holding tickets, keep your eyes peeled for any potential time changes with this Nor’easter ready to pounce. Should the region get pounded in the manner expected by many, getting your ass to the Garden by Saturday afternoon at 1 could prove to be a major challenge. But with the Bs scheduled to be in Buffalo on Sunday night, a delayed start on Saturday is the only real option should the need for a change arise.

*Due to the unbalanced schedule, the Bs only meet the Habs three more times this season—twice here in March and then again in Montreal in April. Unless, of course, they want to dance again this spring.


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