Bruins Notes: Boston Didn’t Play ‘Winning Hockey’ Late In Loss Vs. Avalanche

Boston allowed a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes during the 4-3 overtime loss

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The Boston Bruins were less than one minute away from earning arguably their most impressive win of the season Wednesday night, but weren’t able to pull it out in a 4-3 overtime defeat to the Western Conference-leading Avalanche at Ball Arena.

The Bruins looked like they were going to snap Colorado’s 16-game home winning streak, but couldn’t slow down a furious push from the Avalanche. Colorado had the puck in the Bruins’ defensive zone for much of the third period and it led to Gabriel Landeskog’s game-tying goal with 37 seconds remaining in regulation and paved the way for Cale Makar’s eventual game-winner in overtime.

Boston still gets a point in the standings with the overtime loss, so it’s not the end of the world. But the third period collapse after a 3-1 lead certainly is disappointing. Colorado is the one of, it not the best team in hockey this season for a reason, but the Bruins weren’t able to, as head coach Bruce Cassidy said afterward, play “winning hockey” when they needed it most.

“Well there’s a number of things but I think the biggest thing for me was watching us play the whole period in our end because we couldn’t execute a breakout pass,” Cassidy said on a postgame video conference. “We continually iced it off the glass and out. You’ve got to keep playing hockey, they’re too good. You’re going to get fatigued. Sure enough they start winning face-offs and we’re pulling it out of our net. Execute. You’ve got to keep playing.

“We’re usually pretty good at that and then when you don’t you’ve got to play winning hockey and protect the middle of the ice. They got a bit of a lucky goal but their defenseman are good at getting pucks through to the net, we saw it on three of the goals. We’ve got to protect the middle of the ice to force them to shoot through us or those pucks don’t find their defense. At the end of the day we didn’t get it done. We didn’t get it done and we typically do in those situations. We paid the price.”

The Bruins don’t have much time to dwell on this tough loss as they get right back at it Friday night as they take on the Arizona Coyotes on the road. Hopefully this one is out of their system by then.

Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s Bruins-Avalanche showdown:
— If the end of the third period hadn’t gone as it had, the story of this one would’ve been the Bruins’ dominant second period. Boston entered the period down by a goal, but potted three goals in the second, including back-to-back power play finishes by Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand just one minute and 15 seconds apart.

— Linus Ullmark entered Wednesday’s showdown after winning each of his last seven starts, but the streak snapped at the hands of the Avalanche. With the loss his personal record on the season fell to 14-5-1.

— On the bright side, Jake DeBrusk has been impressive lately for the Bruins. He got Boston on the board with his seventh goal of the season and now he has four points over his last four games (two goals, two assists).

— The Bruins will look to snap their first losing streak of 2022 on Friday night at Gila River Arena against the Coyotes with puck drop scheduled for 9 p.m. ET on NESN.

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