ST LOUIS – The Bruins were looking to author a big time performance in David Backes’ emotional return to St. Louis, and they came through for their new teammate.
Powered by three first period goals and their first multi-power play goal game since the beginning of November, the B’s hammered the St. Louis Blues by a 5-3 score at Scottrade Center. This is a hockey game the B’s dominated from beginning to end, and included a David Backes fight in the second period with Blues D-man Joel Edmundson.
It all started in the first period as the Bruins dropped three scores on the Blues and chased Jake Allen from the game after the opening 20 minutes. Frank Vatrano opened up the scoring midway through the first period when he sniped a power play strike top corner for his third goal of the season. Brandon Carlo followed seven minutes later with a weird point shot that banked into the net off the end boards and the back of Allen’s leg.
Brad Marchand closed out the first period scoring when David Pastrnak fed him wide as the trailing winger, and notching his 14th goal of the season on another top corner sniper job at the Blues net.
Torey Krug made it a four goal lead for the Bruins in the opening minutes of the second period when he smoked another PP point shot that went bar down through a screening Blues defender. St. Louis got one back on a Colton Parayko blast that seemed to snap Tuukka Rask out of a comfortable nap with all the action going on at the other end of the ice.
But that was it for the Blues until a Berglund goal from the slot beat Rask for a power play score midway through the third period to make it a respectable final score. Backes dropped the gloves with Edmundson in the second period after two Blues players caught David Krejci in between them for a crunching hit. Backes came to the defense of his center, and perhaps also showed the St. Louis fans what they’re missing a little bit now that the former Blues captain has signed in Boston.
Brad Marchand added the empty net goal in the closing minute to put things away for the Black and Gold.
BOSTON -- The Bruins were due for an embarrassing no-show against a bad team after playing some pretty good hockey over the last two weeks, and it arrived on cue versus -- once again -- the New York Islanders.
A dreadful second period by Boston allowed the Isles to coast to a 4-0 win at TD Garden Monday afternoon, giving the Metro Division's worst team its second regulation victory over the Bruins in two months. If the B's miss the playoffs by four points or less, they can look at both defeats as big reasons why they didn’t end up making the cut.
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders broke down the B’s defense for the game's first goal. The Adam McQuaid/Torey Krug pairing was caught behind the net and David Krejci was late covering the slot as Casey Cizikas set up Nikolay Kulemin for the first of his two goals on the afternoon.
Less than two minutes later the Islanders doubled their lead when Josh Bailey was able to sneak a bad-angle shot past Tuukka Rask to the short side. Three minutes after that, a high-risk Joe Morrow play at the offensive blue line turned into an odd-man rush for the Islanders and once again Cizikas fed Kulemin from behind the net for a goal that upped the Isles' lead to 3-0. Bruins fans serenaded the B’s players with boos as they exited for the second intermission.
Rask was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots through the first 40 minutes, but that did nothing to give Boston any energy. Jason Chimera capped off the B’s bag of stink with a shorthanded Islanders goal in the third period with little resistance from a trailing group of Bruins turning in a flat performance.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering what Claude Julien would do if one of the Bruins players was running Facebook Live during his postgame comments.
*Auston Matthews is obviously making a huge impression in Toronto as his Centennial Classic jersey sold for over $11,000 at a charity auction.
*Clark Booth knows it’s time to talk about the NFL, but instead he wants to talk about Milt Schmidt. I agree with Clark.
*Sabres goalie Robin Lehner says that his Buffalo teammates need to start doing their job as the season circles down the drain.
*Pierre McGuire talks with TSN sports radio about the Ottawa Senators, and the tough road trip coming up for them.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker has more bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning as Ryan Callahan is going to be out for another four weeks with a lower body injury.
*As the Detroit Red Wings continue to round up the bottom in the Atlantic Division, Thomas Vanek may become trade bait.
*Peter Budaj is giving the Kings the saves that they need with Jonathan Quick out long term with injury.
*For something completely different: Tom E. Curran points out some togetherness issues with the Pittsburgh Steelers based on Antonio Brown’s Facebook post.