Another game, another highlight for Chucky Mac.
I was a little surprised that Bruce Cassidy went to Anton Khudobin last night because Tuukka Rask was coming off a shutout on Saturday and there’s a light schedule this week. Instead, Cassidy decided to see how his #2 man would fare in one of the league’s toughest road barns vs. the defending conference champions. It was almost like he was saying, “you want the back-up to be the #1? Here ya go” though I’m sure that wasn’t his reasoning. The results were less than stellar.
Khudobin was pulled 4:10 into the second period after surrendering four goals on 14 shots and replaced by Rask. A spirited Bruins effort cut the deficit thanks to goals by Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, and David Pastrnak. But an ugly neutral zone turnover sent Filip Forsberg in all alone on Rask and he re-established a two-goal lead the Preds wouldn’t relinquish. Game. Set. Match.
The Bs had a decided edge in play for the final two stanzas, outshooting the Preds 27-14 and played their asses off after the goalie change. In the process, they hopefully retired the foolish ‘they play better under Khudobin’ idiocy that gets peddled around here. Another doozy is ‘Khudobin tries harder’ which completely ignores that the two goalies play wildly different styles so Khubobin moves around his crease a lot more.
The Bs looked like they might be able to steal a point early in the third but couldn’t get the equalizer. It was also one of their games in hand so it sucks to not make the most of it. But they’re still just a point behind the resurgent Habs and have three games in hand. So pack up, move on, and focus on the Coyotes Thursday night at the Garden.
Pasta’s 14th is tied for 6th in NHL goals.