Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Nashville Predators by a 3-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at Nationwide Arena.
1) Bruins certainly not fooling around with their hope of finishing strong leading up to Christmas. Three goals in the opening stanza to go along with 10 shots on net for the Black and Gold. The Preds had 11 shots of their own and ended with a frenzy after the B’s had built up a big lead early.
2) Carbon copy goal on the power play for the Bruins tonight to the PP goal they scored vs. Buffalo on Saturday night. Ryan Spooner and Carl Soderberg play give-and-go with the puck, and then Soderberg feds it across the crease to Reilly Smith crashing from the doorstep. Same exact result on both power plays with some seriously skilled players working together.
3) First goal in the Bruins uniform for Matt Fraser, who was the beneficiary of a long Carter Hutton rebound after a Soderberg dump-in attempt bounced right to Fraser heading toward the net. He zipped a wrist shot over Hutton’s glove hand, and had the second career NHL goal. It was also the second career NHL goal vs. the Predators.
4) Two assists for Ryan Spooner in the first period for the first multi-point game of his NHL career. He’s playing with confidence now, and looking quite a bit more like the guy that starred for the B’s during the preseason.
5) Tough break for UMass-Lowell alum Carter Hutton, who was yanked after allowing two goals on five shots including the awful rebound to Matt Fraser in the slot. Pekka Rinne may be ready to return from his hip infection soon, and that can’t happen fast enough for the Predators.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Nashville Predators by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at Nationwide Arena.
1) Multi-point games for Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner through two periods. Plenty of skill to burn. These are not your father’s Bruins, but they’re probably a little like your grandfather’s Bruins.
2) Heck of a tilt between Adam McQuaid and Eric Nystrom in the first period. A couple of strong, overhand punches caught the flush faces of both combatants, and McQuaid left the ice for a time. He did return for the Black and Gold, however, and has played 11:58 of ice time through two periods.
3) Great couple of periods for Tuukka Rask, who stoned Patric Hornqvist on a partial breakaway after he split the defensive pair of Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug for the offensive chance. Twenty two saves in all through two periods of hockey vs. Nashville.
4) Patrice Bergeron with five generated attempts and 16-of-22 face-off wins through two periods. Just a typical, dominant performance from No. 37 coming off that tilt with 6-foot-8 Tyler Myers.
5) Bruins outhit 11-8 through the first two periods with Milan Lucic as the only Bruins player really throwing around the lumber (three hits).
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking the Nashville Predators down by a 6-2 score after 60 minutes of action at Nationwide Arena.
1) Three assists for Ryan Spooner tonight in a bust out, statement game that the young player belongs. Spooner had four assists in his entire NHL body of work prior to tonight.
2) Three power play goals for the Bruins, with scores coming from both units. The Bruins were ranked 10th in the NHL headed into tonight’s game at just under a 20 percent power play success rate, but that will be going way, way up after tonight.
3) Jarome Iginla popped in his first power play goal of the season tonight in his 35th game. It’s been a long time coming for a player that’s always been a beast on the power play in the past.
4) Jordan Caron had another nonexistent game tonight, and was caught sleeping on a Craig Smith goal in the third period. Time for him to go.
5) Brad Marchand with another goal tonight in garbage time. Impressive the way the Bruins turned it on in the second to pull away from the Predators.