The Boston Bruins needed their best players to show up in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and Patrice Bergeron rose to the challenge at both ends of the ice.
He opened the scoring in the first period with the 200th goal of his NHL career and also earned two assists — one on Dougie Hamilton’s power-play goal and the other on Reilly Smith’s tally — in Boston’s 6-2 win at the United Center. Bergeron now leads the Bruins in scoring with 42 points and is tied with Brad Marchand for the team lead in goals scored with 17.
The veteran center also led all Bruins forwards with a plus-7 shot attempt differential at even strength, won 58 percent of his faceoffs and totaled 5:32 of special teams ice time.
Bergeron’s line, which included Marchand and Smith, helped Boston control more than 75 percent of even-strength shot attempts against Chicago’s top line.
The Marchand-Bergeron-Smith trio has been the Bruins’ most productive and consistent line all season, and that again was the case Sunday.
— Brian Ferlin played very well in his second career NHL game and picked up his first point as a member of the Bruins on Gregory Campbell’s second-period goal. Ferlin did a great job winning possession of the puck below the goal line against two Chicago defensemen and made a good pass to Campbell in the slot to tally a primary assist.
The fourth line of Jordan Caron, Campbell and Ferlin played a solid game overall. Each player had an even or positive shot attempt differential at even strength, which rarely has happened for Boston’s fourth line this season.
Ferlin and Caron both entered the lineup Friday night in place of Daniel Paille and Craig Cunningham, and they definitely deserve another opportunity Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks.
— The Bruins dominated puck possession against the Blackhawks, as evidenced in the following chart showing the score-adjusted Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts). [tweet https://twitter.com/RegressedPDO/status/569637236158951424 align=”center”]
— Bruins rookie right winger David Pastrnak assisted Milan Lucic’s second-period goal to give him five points in his last seven games. Lucic’s tally ended a seven-game goalless drought. Ryan Spooner was the other member of this line and also gave a strong performance. He tallied an assist with a team-high four shots in 15:53 of ice time.
— Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 26 saves on 28 shots (20-for-21 at even strength) for a .929 save percentage. The score would have been a lot different if he didn’t stop ‘Hawks forward Kris Versteeg on a shorthanded breakaway and rob Patrick Kane with a pad save in the first period.
— Boston hadn’t scored six goals in Chicago since Feb. 21, 1999.
— The Blackhawks have lost their last two games by a combined score of 10-3. ‘Hawks goalie Corey Crawford was pulled in the second period of Sunday’s game after giving up four goals. Backup netminder Antti Raanta allowed two goals in relief.
— Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya took a huge hit from Lucic in the first period and didn’t play much more after that. He missed the last two periods and finished with 1:14 of ice time. [tweet https://twitter.com/ChrisKuc/status/569639719274876928 align=”center”]
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images
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