The Bruins put the NHL on notice Tuesday when they came back from a three-goal deficit to score four unanswered goals and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 in overtime.
Boston now has won six straight games and its latest victory came on what looked like was going to be the Bruins’ worst game of the season, but turned into a statement win.
It wasn’t easy by any means. The Bruins lost Derek Forbort to an upper-body injury after just 5:03 of ice time. During that span, the defenseman blocked two shots and amassed five hits. Linus Ullmark also was pulled after giving up five goals and was on the hook for his first loss of the season, but Jeremy Swayman was injured in a collision with Patrice Bergeron that forced Ullmark back in the game.
At the end of the day, the Bruins found a way to wipe out the 5-2 deficit and get the job done, which they’ve been doing all season, and continued to prove why they’re one of the best teams in the NHL right now.
Here are five takeaways from Tuesday’s win:
There’s no quit in this team
Down Forbort and Swayman, the B’s were forced to play shorthanded on defense and to put their pulled goalie back in net, but they found a way.
“They believe in there. It’s incredible,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery told reporters after the game. “It was 5-3 in the third, and we’re generating chances, and I’m sitting here like, I just love the fight in this team. There was like nine minutes left (and I thought) it might not be our night. But Jesus, it was.”
Turnovers and injuries certainly put the Bruins at a disadvantage against a Penguins team desperate to halt their four-game losing streak, but it’s clear the B’s are always a threat — even when down a couple of goals.
Hampus Lindholm can do it all
Lindholm didn’t have his best game, but he saved the day with his game-winning goal in overtime to help move the Bruins to 9-1-0. Defensive breakdowns, turnovers and an OT penalty almost made this Lindholm’s worst game of the season, but a four-point night helped turn that around.
“I felt decent. Few sloppy battles defensively. It’s a 60-minute hockey game,” Lindholm told reporters. “Fell behind a little bit there early. But it’s 60 minutes of hockey so you try to stick with it and (Tuesday) was one of those nights it went our way.”
Despite the off night, Montgomery wasn’t going to keep Lindholm, who racked up nearly 30 minutes of ice time, off the ice — especially with Forbort being ruled out ahead of the second period.
“I just have so much confidence in him,” Montgomery told reporters. “I just roll him over the boards as much as I can because he just believes in himself, and he can make plays. He might be the most underrated defenseman in the league. He’s been phenomenal. I don’t know any other words except he’s pretty dominant out there.”
Linus Ullmark is human after all
Ullmark was bound to have an ugly game and get his first loss of the season, right? The goalie gave up an uncharacteristic five goals before being pulled for Swayman. Ullmark was on the hook for his first loss, but he was forced back into the game when Swayman exited with an apparent leg injury after a collision with Patrice Bergeron.
The result? Ullmark remained undefeated.
“It shows what type of group we have and the belief we have in ourselves and that you can never count us out and we should never count ourselves out,” Ullmark told reporters. “Hockey is hockey. Some days you have a shutout, some days you can be pulled. It doesn’t matter. It’s a very humbling league.”
For those wondering, Nick Foligno filled in for Swayman for the post-win goalie hug.
Jakub Lauko finally got his first NHL goal
Lauko’s first NHL goal was called back against the Arizona Coyotes during Boston’s home opener, but there was no doubt about his Tuesday tally.
The forward has been playing well when given the opportunity to be in the lineup, and that trend continued at PPG Paints Arena when he finally found twine.
“My first look was at the referee,” Lauko told reporters “When he said it was OK, it was a little bit of hesitation. When he said it was good, it was OK. I was really happy after that.”
Lauko has been a healthy scratch a few times this year, but slotted in for the injured Craig Smith, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and he knows what he has to do in order to be a mainstay in this lineup.
“the time for excuses is over,” Lauko told reporters. “I need to perform now. I didn’t think it was my best game so far, but I found a way to make it better. I just need to keep performing and keep it consistent. We are on a really good run. We need to keep playing like we played in the third period.”
Tomas Nosek can’t buy a goal right now
The Bruins have 16 different goal scorers. Nosek is not one of them. It’s not for lack of effort, though. The forward is just not getting any breaks. He had another near-goal in overtime, but he rang the puck off the post to keep his drought alive, which stems back to January.