Bruins win thriller over Sharks
Locally, this fall the Red Sox have the sports market cornered on late-game excitement (not counting the Patriots’ last-second win over the Saints) but the Bruins did their best to not only thrill their fans but also get them home for the last few innings of Game 2 of the World Series between Boston and St. Louis Thursday night. David Krejci tipped in Adam McQuaid’s shot from the point with 0.8 seconds left in regulation to help Boston (7-2-0) knock off San Jose (8-1-1) 2-1 at TD Garden. It was the Sharks’ first regulation loss of the season and you couldn’t say that they really deserved it after outshooting the Bruins 39-17.
Recalling the winning play, McQuaid said that “I knew the clock was winding down, there was seven seconds left when I looked. Tuukka (Rask) gave us a chance to win, without the saves he made it would have been a different story.”
Playing in their first back-to-back of the season against the highest-scoring team in the NHL was a tall order but Claude Julien’s team survived it. “We weathered the storm in the first period (Sharks outshot them 16-3) and Tuukka stood tall to keep us in the game.” Facing Antti Niemi (15 saves) his fellow Finn-they’ll be teammates battling for the starting position at the Olympics in February)-Rask (38 saves) was spectacular to earn the first star of the game.
This victory will also be remembered for Jarome Iginla’s first goal in Black and Gold. The future Hall-of-Famer finally found some puck luck as he made it 1-0 with 1:12 left in the second period by slipping it between Niemi’s pads from the side of the net. It was the 531st goal of his legendary career but probably one of the sweetest given the pressure that had been building lately to deliver what he’d been brought in to do: score goals. “He should have scored a goal a long time ago (given all his chances),” said Julien. “This was a reward for all his hard work this season.” San Jose scored 18 seconds into the third period as Patrick Marleau deposited a juicy rebound by Rask, maybe his only mistake of the night. From there, it seemed destined for overtime but Krejci had other plans.
What they’ll be saying: It is silly to talk about the Stanley Cup Final in October but what a treat it would be to get Bruins-Sharks in June. Of course, San Jose always looks great in the regular season only to fall apart annually in the postseason so it’s tough to count on that. Still, seeing their stacked team up close, you wonder if maybe this is the year they get over the hump. Similarly, it is early to be ranking wins for the B’s but it is hard to argue that this was a great one given who they were playing and the fact that San Jose was off for a few days in Boston while the Bruins had to play in Buffalo last night then fly in late. It wasn’t a tough decision but starting Johnson and giving Rask his first break worked out perfectly for Julien. They’ll miss Loui Eriksson for however long he’s out dealing with his concussion. Chris Kelly moved to the second line and Jordan Caron went from a healthy scratch to taking Kelly’s place on the third line. Neither guy has Eriksson’s skill or skating ability. The last time the Bruins won a game when they were outshot by this much was nearly six years ago (Dec. 10, 2007 at Buffalo). They had to do the little things to hang around: they had 13 more hits, four more takeaways, blocked five more shots and won nine more faceoffs than the Sharks. That’s how you beat a great team that is playing really well.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate