The Boston Bruins didn’t pick up a win Friday night, but it by no means was due to a lack of guts.
The Bruins, who entered the contest ravaged with injuries and had two players making their NHL debuts, fought tooth and nail to earn a tough victory at American Airlines Center. But the Dallas Stars ultimately landed the final punch, notching the lone goal of the game in overtime to break Boston’s heart.
It was a goaltending exhibition in the Lone Star State, which saw the netminders combine to stop 59 of 60 total shots, including 36 from Tuukka Rask.
With the loss, the B’s fall to 10-6-3, while the Stars improve to 10-7-2.
Here’s how it all went down:
It was about as evenly matched as could be in the first period, which saw both sides unable to do damage to the scoreboard. The back-and-forth action saw the Bruins and Stars each log 10 shots on net, but thanks to some sharp goaltending, the lamps were left unlit. Dallas’ penalty kill also stood tall in the opening 20 minutes, squashing a pair of Boston power plays.
The Bruins entered Friday night already with a laundry list of injuries, and it appeared that unfortunate number was going to grow in the second period. Just under eight minutes into the frame, Patrice Bergeron was the recipient of a brutal hit from Radek Faska. Boston’s first-line center stayed down on the ice for a moment before gingerly making his way back to the locker room. Luckily for Bergeron and the B’s, he returned to action later in the period.
As for the game itself, neither side could find the back of the net for a second straight period. The roles were reversed following the opening frame, as the Stars failed to convert on a pair of power plays. With a lack of scoring, the highlight of the stanza ended up being Brad Marchand, who did some verbal jousting with a Stars fan before being hit with a very questionable slashing penalty.
FIGHT TO THE FINISH
Both the Bruins and Stars knocked on the door in the first two periods but couldn’t work their way through. Well, that trend continued in the third period, which marked yet another scoreless stanza. While no one could put the puck in the back of the net, the final frame of regulation certainly didn’t lack excitement. The two sides engaged in fisticuffs on more than one occasion, including Connor Clifton picking up his first fighting major in his NHL debut.
There would be no road victory for the B’s on Friday night. Less than two minutes into the overtime period, Mattias Janmark peppered Rask with a pair of shots, the second of which rebounded right in front of the goalmouth. Jason Dickinson was there to clean things up, notching the lone goal of the game to send the Stars home winners.
The Bruins will play the second leg of their road back-to-back Saturday night against the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop from Gila River Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET.
The Bruins Wrap is presented by Plainridge Park Casino.