Bruins strike last to beat Hurricanes, 5-3


Bruins strike last to beat Hurricanes, 5-3

RALEIGH, NC It was only fitting that on the day it was announced Dougie Hamilton will never have to go back to junior hockey, he helped make the play to win the game.

During a mad scramble in front of the Carolina net a puck bounced out to Hamilton at the right wing circle, but he slid a cross-ice pass to a wide open David Krejci for the game-winning strike in a 5-3 victory.

The goal came with less than two minutes in the third period proving the 19-year-old has a flair for the dramatic.

The Bruins had built up a 3-1 lead after two periods where theyd dictated the pace and played some magnificent special teams, but that dropped off a little bit at the end of the second period.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring with a shorthanded snipe from the right face-off circle after a nifty cross-ice pass from Zdeno Chara, and Chara built it to a two-goal lead with the Bruins second power play goal of the season.

The Hurricanes fought back and halved the Bs lead on a give-and-go play between Eric Staal and Jamie McBain that ended with a goal for the Carolina defenseman. Nathan Horton scored what appeared to be a nice insurance goal on a beautiful rush to the net through three Carolina defenders including a complete dusting off Tim Gleason when he attempted to stick-check him hear the blue line that finished with a roofed wrist shot over Cam Ward.

A few long shifts seemed to take the starch out of the Bruins, and turnovers by both the fourth line and the third line at the end of the period led to goals for Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal to get the Hurricanes back into the contest. That opened things up for a competitive third period in a seesaw game between the Bruins and Canes, who always seem to be embroiled in tight battles.

Tyler Seguin added the empty netter for his first goal of the season.

GOLD STAR: Zdeno Chara finished with a goal and two assists along with four shots on net in 26:02 of ice time, and helped create each of the first two goals for the Bruins that gave them a commanding early lead. Chara showed his vision by finding Brad Marchand with a cross-ice pass for the shorthanded goal and then feathered a quick wrist shot from the point through a Milan Lucic screen for a power play strike in the first period. After the early offense Chara hunkered down on defense and was only on the ice for one of Carolinas three goals, and neither of the breakdowns right at the end of the second period.

BLACK EYE: Bruins fourth line continues their bipolar season with another tough night. One shot on net for the trio and a rough Shawn Thornton turnover led to the first of Carolinas two goals at the end of the second period that tied up the game headed into the final 20 minutes. The criticism needs to be qualified, however, because its quite a lot to ask Thornton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell to shut down a line with Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner on it. That might not have been the right time for the energy line, and compounding it with a goal allowed by the third line on the next shift wasnt any better.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins faltered late in the second period allowing a pair of goals in the final three minutes that tied the game for Carolina, but they turned it back on in the third period. The Bruins outshot the Hurricanes by a 17-8 margin in the final 20 minutes and kept throwing pucks at the net until a Dougie Hamilton-to-David Krejci connection in the final two minutes put Boston ahead for good. The Bs simply werent going to be denied and continue to show both mental and physical strength early in this 48-game shortened season.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci finished with the game-winning goal, two points, a plus-1 in 18:13 of ice time and won eight of 12 face-offs against some pretty good centers suiting up for Carolina. It wasnt always pretty for Krejci during the 60 minutes of seesaw hockey against the Hurricanes, but he helped set up Charas power play goal early in the game and then was ready for Hamiltons slick pass in the final minutes before firing off the game-winner. The Bruins are starting to playmakers on the ice offensively, and it becomes very obvious in crunch time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 23-for-23 the perfect Bruins record on the penalty kill this season, which also kicked in a shorthanded goal on Monday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: We wanted to have a good start and so far, so good. We also lost a big one in overtime in New York We wanted to get our first win on the road too, so it was a pretty big two points for us. We came out strong in the third period and really stuck with it. David Krejci talking about the teams mindset after taking nine of a possible 10 points in the first five games this season.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.