BOSTON – Here are five thoughts in the first period with the Bruins and Minnesota Wild locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Bruins off to a sleepy start in the game, but they came on strong in the second half of the first period to finish trailing just 10-8 in shots after the first 20 minutes. Tonight’s game marks eight straight games that the Black and Gold haven’t allowed a goal in the opening period of the game.
2) A couple of really good scoring bids for Jarome Iginla in the opening 20 minutes: one ended up forcing Darcy Kuemper to make a nifty toe save, and the second was stifled by some great positional defense by Ryan Suter in front of the net. It’s too bad he’s been in the West his entire career because Suter is a real joy to watch play the defenseman position.
3) Brad Marchand in full pest mode during the first period getting into it with fellow Lilliputian Jarred Spurgeon behind the Minnesota net, and then giving Suter a little nudge after the whistle later in the period. Walking the line nicely while attempting to wake up the Bruins for some early sleepiness in their game.
4) Wild have blocked seven shots in the opening 20 minutes, and the Bruins blocked just one shot. Minnesota winning a lot of the “effort” categories in the first 20 minutes.
5) Wildly uneven first periods from Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski as they try to lock down their games prior to the playoffs. Turnovers, hard hits and good offensive plays for each of the two youngsters thus far.
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts in the second period with the Bruins leading the Minnesota Wild by a 2-1 score after the first 40 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Matt Bartkowski not having his best night tonight for the Black and Gold. Had a couple of shaky plays earlier in the game, but completely screwed the pooch when he fell asleep on an offensive zone face-off at the end of the second period. Bartkowski went to pinch into the offensive zone as Jason Pominville blew the D-zone and beat both Bartkowski and Meszaros for a partial breakaway. Meszaros recovered enough to snap Pominville’s stick as he shot the puck, but the scoring bid beat Rask for a tough goal with 1:26 left in the period.
2) What a play for Carl Soderberg, who continues his red-hot finish to the season while playing at center. He set up the current go-ahead goal by wheeling around the back of the net and firing a no-look pass through traffic to a wide open Loui Eriksson. The Swedish winger snapped it into the open net and once again the Big Swede was creating big offense.
3) Jarome Iginla with another goal, five shot attempts and a pair of registered hits through two periods of play. Iginla really raising his level of play here in the final weeks and month prior to the end of the season.
4) Two giveaways and 4-for-9 on face-offs for David Krejci through two periods in a bit of a mixed bag effort from the Czech Republic center.
5) Minnesota Wild have blocked 13 shots to two blocked shots for the Bruins tonight. Some of that discrepancy is explained by the Bruins starting to take over the shot attempts and time of possession, but it’s still pretty clear Minny is a bit more of the desperate team in this one.