Though Zdeno Chara recently played his 1,000th NHL game, that milestone was reached on the road, so he could not be properly honored for it at the time. So, once the Boston Bruins returned from their mostly successful three-game road trip in California, he got his honors on home ice before facing the Tampa Bay Lightning. Maybe that silver stick inspired him to do good things with his normal stick because he had three assists as part of a 5-2 Bruins victory.
Chara did much of the heavy lifting in working the puck into the zone for Shawn Thornton to then snap past Dwayne Roloson. This came just five minutes after Steven Stamkos scored his 54th goal of the season, leading NBC Sports Network announcers to jokingly compare Stamkos’ 54th to Thornton’s fifth.
Chara helped fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg score the only goal of the second period, lifting the Bruins to a 2-1 lead. They took this score into the second intermission, which brought up mentions of Boston’s perfect 29-0-0 record when leading after two.
After Stamkos tied the game up in the third period, the Bruins could’ve deflated, struggled to score another goal or clawed desperately for an overtime or shootout win. But instead, they found some energy and used it to their advantage. Chara assisted once more on Benoit Pouliot‘s goal. Also getting an assist on that was Brian Rolston, whose point streak now extends to seven consecutive games. Rolston must be enjoying his second act as a Bruin!
Brad Marchand added another goal to extend the Bruins’ lead, getting his helpers from Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. Like Chara, Bergeron worked the puck into the zone and then easily passed it to Marchand for the goal. Another area in which Bergeron was very effective: the faceoff circle, where he won 20 out of the 25 draws he took.
Then Rich Peverley, in just his second game back from injury, added an empty-net goal to truly seal the deal on this game.
Though it seemed at times like Roloson was having a career night, at the other end Tim Thomas was fantastic too. The rest he got when Marty Turco played against Anaheim did him well. His quick thinking stopped Stamkos from potentially scoring a hat trick at one point when he reached behind himself to freeze the puck before it could cross the goal line.
The Bruins were able to get scoring from all over their roster: top line, second line, third line, fourth line and even defensemen contributed. When the team is doing well, everyone has a chance to make a difference.
Plus, that 29-0-0 record improved to 30-0-0. Oh, and the Bruins are now holding a three-game winning streak for the first time since December.
Next up, they face the Washington Capitals on March 29. The Capitals are hungry to get into the playoffs and could use any and all points they can get, so it will be important for the Bruins to be at their best.