The Boston Bruins dropped a two-goal lead and had to kill quite a few penalties in the process, but in the end they prevailed and won 5-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes. The team that gave the Bruins so much trouble–and a 0-4 record–last season was still troublesome at times, but Boston got two points out of this occasion.
In the first period, though, the team scored on both sides of a penalty in the span of about three minutes: Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal and Zdeno Chara broke through with that rarest of unicorns for the team so far this season, a power play goal. When Milan Lucic fought with Tim Gleason, though, it ended up providing some energy to the home team–Jamie McBain tipped in his first goal of the season, but the Bruins left the first period with the lead.
It seemed like the Bruins got a little tired or something heading into the second, considering they took two silly penalties in the first three minutes. Anton Khudobin was forced to stand strong during some 5-on-3 action at one point, nabbing an Eric Staal shot in his glove during that time like how Dobby the elf from Harry Potter picked up the sock that gave him his freedom.
Nathan Horton picked up his second goal of the season and it may not stop being a joy to say that for a while. But just a few minutes later, things went a little wrong, to say the least. Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal scored in quick succession, wiping away that two-goal lead that Horton helped provide, so the game looked very different at the second buzzer.
The second intermission was alright with Bruins fans demanding that Khudobin not see ice time during the third period. How is he supposed to grow, learn and become an even better backup goalie if Claude Julien were to pull him every time the team in front of him flubbed for a minute or two? But Julien, who is now in third place among Bruins coaches for wins (behind Milt Schmidt and Art Ross, now ahead of Don Cherry), knows what he’s doing and left Khudobin in the net.
That was a good idea–he stayed strong in the third period, but the team in front of him looked timid at times. Actually, both teams did, perhaps fearful of another flub. There was no flubbing to be had on David Krejci‘s go-ahead goal late in the period, though. Dougie Hamilton did a great job helping out on that one, waiting and passing to Krejci instead of trying to take the shot himself. You’re gonna fit in well in the big time, Hamilton.
Plus, maybe Tyler Seguin can shake some of his anxiety about not having scored yet following a very prolific campaign in Switzerland. Sure, his goal was an empty-netter, but it’s the first step. Sometimes, taking the first step is the hardest part and everything gets easier from there.
Something happened between Skinner and Patrice Bergeron, but no one seemed to be able to see all of it, no matter what feed they were watching. All I saw was some heated yelling from Bergeron towards Skinner. I would love to know what happened or what Skinner said or did to rile up the otherwise cool hand Bergeron, who’s only ever been in one NHL fight in his entire career.
But for now, it doesn’t matter. Here are some fun facts for fact fans: Boston is already better against Carolina then they were last season with this win. They also got at least one point from their first five games for the first time since 1990-91, when a different guy named Bourque was in the lineup. Also, they stayed perfect on the penalty kill and even improved their power play goal percentage just slightly.
Now the team travels back to Boston and will be at it again tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils. This is their first back-to-back of this season and the fact that it involves travel and getting back into the saddle really quickly worries me a little bit, so here’s hoping they can make the best of it.