BOSTON — For a while on Friday afternoon, it felt as if the Bruins were going to suffer their first losing streak of the 2022-23 season.
Boston was down 2-0 until late in the second period when David Krejci made it a one-goal game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins, as they have done all season, never gave up the fight and eventually it was Krejci who tied it at 2-2. At first, it was waved off for goalie interference, but it was clear as day that Nick Foligno, who was in the crease at the time of the goal, was pushed to where he was and couldn’t do much about it.
Goaltender interference calls seldom are overturned, but Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was confident in challenging the call. It proved successful and the B’s went on to win 3-2 in overtime thanks to a David Pastrnak rocket in the extra frame.
The Bruins had an on-time start, but lost some momentum as the game went on. It didn’t help that the Hurricanes scored twice on the power play as Boston’s penalty-kill woes continued without Derek Forbort.
But nevertheless, the Bruins persisted, and Montgomery knows exactly what the turning point was for his team.
“I think the Charlie McAvoy hit (in the second period),” Montgomery said. “I like the way we started, then we went on our heels there in the last 10 minutes of the first. And we didn’t get it back until Charlie had that big hit just inside our blue line. And then I thought the third and fourth lines like (A.J.) Greer put it in right after that, went forecheck, got a hit. (Nick) Foligno got a hit then we got a change. (Charlie) Coyle came out, big hit. (Taylor Hall) big hit and got possession. Then we got toward our offensive game in the offensive zone.
“I thought that territorially, it seemed like we were in their end the whole last 30 minutes of the game.”
McAvoy dished out some pretty big hits in the defensive zone, which clearly sparked the Bruins throughout the remainder of the game.
“Chuckie, (Matt Grzelcyk) as well. Greer. That kind of started it I think,” Krejci said. “Then a couple good shifts in the O-zone and, like I said, we just kept going at them and eventually they cracked.”
McAvoy didn’t show up on the scoresheet for Friday’s game, but his five hits and one block clearly got him noticed by his head coach and his teammates. He also played a team-high 28:13, including 5:23 on the power play.
The blueliner was a bit of an unsung hero in a game that featured a playoff-like atmosphere and dramatic comeback, but McAvoy without a doubt is getting the recognition he deserves.