The good news for the Boston Bruins on Monday: They extended their point streak to 13 games.
The bad news: It was far from an impressive effort, and the B’s ultimately skated away with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars at TD Garden.
Old friend Tyler Seguin did the honors, as Dallas took advantage of a delayed Bruins penalty in the overtime. Seguin beat Anton Khudobin for the game-winner 2:59 into the extra frame.
The Bruins did, however. do a good job of erasing a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and force overtime, extending the aforementioned point streak. The Bruins have won nine of those 13 games with all four of those losses coming in overtime or the shootout. Boston hasn’t lost in regulation since Dec. 14.
Dallas improved its record to 25-17-3 with the win, and the Bruins fell to 24-10-8.
SHOULDA WENT WITH THE STRONG STUFF
To borrow a line from The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa, it looked like the Bruins’ pregame drink of choice was decaf. Boston looked sluggish and lethargic early on, and Dallas jumped all over them, registering the first nine shots of the game.
“I think that might have been one of the worst periods we’ve played (this season),” Ryan Spooner told reporters after the game.
After a scoreless 20 minutes, the Stars were rewarded for their strong start, as they registered the game’s first goal in the second when Stephen Johns beat Anton Khudobin with a wicked wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. The goal was the fifth of the season for the defenseman.
How uncharacteristic was Monday’s showing for the Bruins? So much so that Patrice Bergeron’s line was scored on during 5-on-5 play. Bergeron lost a defensive zone faceoff, and the Stars took full advantage as Alexander Radulov beat the B’s to a loose puck and beat Anton Khudobin with a backhander in front.
It was just the second 5-on-5 goal allowed by Bergeron’s line all season.
Leave it to the captain Zdeno Chara to get the Bruins on the right track. Chara scored his first goal in 17 games — his fifth of the season — when he wound up and blistered a missile past Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen midway through the second period.
The Bruins didn’t consistently do enough of the little things to get two points, but they ultimately did just enough to at least come away with the loser point. Jake DeBrusk gave a strong effort to help keep the pressure on in the third, and it paid off as Boston was able to get a little zone time. DeBrusk then did even more dirty work by going to the front of the net and creating traffic in front of Lehtonen. The net-front screen bothered the goalie just enough for Ryan Spooner to score from the right point, as DeBrusk created havoc in the crease.
WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE
Give enough chances to a team with the talent Dallas has and eventually they’ll make you pay. That was the case in overtime, as Dallas enjoyed an extended man advantage, gathering the puck in a 4-on-3 situation during a delayed penalty. Seguin certainly is able to take advantage of all that open ice, and he got free enough to beat Khudobin with the game-winning goal.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned during his postgame interview with NESN that his club got in late from Saturday night’s game in Montreal and had a sloppy practice Sunday. He mentioned that all might have played a role in Monday’s effort, and he also acknowledged some issues in matinees this season. The numbers back that up, as Boston fell to 3-2-1 in afternoon games this season.
The Bruins take on the Montreal Canadiens, their second of three games with the Habs in seven days, Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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