Here are the “hits” and “misses” from the Bruins’ 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena.
*Ryan Spooner stopped playing his safe, quiet game last weekend, and he’s totaled 11 shots on net and four assists in his last two games, including three helpers in Boston’s Monday night win in Nashville. It was Spooner’s first multi-point game in the NHL. The Bruins need players with elite skating speed to improve that department for them, and he is absolutely bringing that to the table over the last couple of games. He’s looked great with Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg on the power play, and absolutely blew the doors off Kevin Klein on a rush to the net where he eventually served Soderberg for the goal.
*Carl Soderberg finished off a nice feed from Spooner in the third period, and set up a pair of teammates with assists in a three-point night for the Big Swede. Soderberg and Reilly Smith have the backdoor play down to a science on the power play, and the combo of Spooner, Smith and Soderberg on the PP gives you an idea of the kind of explosive offensive lineup the B’s could have on their third line. Plenty of offensive production in 14 minutes of ice time for both Spooner and Soderberg.
*Claude Julien collected his 400th career NHL victory behind the bench, an accomplishment that makes him the 31st head coach to reach that plateau for NHL bench bosses.
*The power play supplied three goals for the Bruins in the highest goal total of the season for Boston, and gives the Bruins nine power play goals in their last eight games. The B’s have now jumped into the top 10 for power play efficiency with a success rate number well over 20 percent. Both power play units scored for the Black and Gold in the win over Nashville.
*Tuukka Rask was lights out for the Bruins making 32 saves, including a stop on a Patric Honrqvist partial breakaway in the second period when he split through the Zdeno Chara/Torey Krug pairing. The only goals allowed by Rask were on bad bounces and a clean point blank shot from the slot for Craig Smith. Other than that, Rask was able to turn away a Boston defense that got a little sloppy before snapping to attention in the third period.
*Two goals for Jarome Iginla and his first power play score of the season, which gives Iginla a pair of two goal games in his last four contests.
*Great fight from Adam McQuaid early in the first period as he’s clearly looking to make a statement after missing the first nine games during the month of December. He and Eric Nystrom threw some titanic bombs that connected, and it definitely set an emotional tone for the Bruins early in the game.
*Matt Fraser finally got his first point in his seventh game with the Bruins on a gift-wrapped goal from the Nashville goalie. But it also showed what Fraser can do when given a chance in the slot, as he buried that first B’s goal past the glove hand.
*Jordan Caron had zero shots on net and blew the coverage on Craig Smith on one of Nashville’s goals in the third period. He continues to just float through this make or break season for the Bruins.
*Carter Hutton definitely didn’t have it while giving up two goals on the first five shots he faced, and getting yanked after an awful rebound to Matt Fraser on a long dump in attempt by Carl Soderberg. He’s largely done a decent job filling in for Pekka Rinne, but it appears the UMass Lowell goalie isn’t NHL starter material.
*A minus-2 and a pair of giveaways for Seth Jones in a very up-and-down first showing against the Bruins for the young, prodigy defenseman.