Bruins engineer comeback with goalie pulled

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Bruins engineer comeback with goalie pulled

BOSTON -- Forty eight seconds was all it took to transform the Bruins from frustrated losers to stubborn competitors that salvaged a point where none had been just a minute before.

With the Bruins trailing by a 3-1 score with less than two minutes remaining in the contest, Claude Julien pulled goalie Tuukka Rask from the game and the Bruins scored two goals with the extra skaters to push overtime before falling by a 4-3 score in the shootout at TD Garden.

It was the first time the Bruins had scored twice with the goaltender pulled since Oct. 24, 2009 when they turned a 3-1 deficit against the Ottawa Senators into a 4-3 shootout victory.

It was wild. The fans are incredible, and it just seemed like once we got that first one (David Krejcis goal), we knew we were going to tie it up, said Brad Marchand, who scored the game-tying goal with 43 seconds to go in the third period. We just kept going, and its always fun having a game like that in our rink.

It just seems like our fans are so up for it and really enjoy it. Its just too bad we couldnt finish it off.

Mad scrambles in front of the New York Rangers net turned into goals for Nathan Horton and Brad Marchand, and Boston still only has one regulation loss in 11 games to start the season. Bruins players were happy they managed to get a point while becoming the first NHL team to come back from a three-goal deficit, but also a little peeved they had to author a furious comeback in the first place.

Its nice, for sure, to get the point. I think everybody is proud to get the point, said Andrew Ference. But I think if you went around the room a majority of guys are just ticked off that we spotted them the three goals. During the season you know those games happen where youre going to have to fight back and you have some breakdowns.

"I guess you focus on the positives, which was a good job at the end of jumping on loose pucks and really putting the pressure on.

A couple of guys came through by burying those chances, finally. It was a funny game. It was a weird game.

Midway through the third period a David Krejci goal cut Bostons deficit to 3-1 and gave the Bruins signs of life after theyd simply made too many mistakes in the first two periods. But things really got interesting once the Bruins pulled Rask from the game with less than two minutes in the third period. Andrew Ference teed up for a shot from the right point that Henrik Lundqvist made the initial save on, and Milan Lucic kept the puck alive when it bounced off his massive power forward body in front of the net.

The loose puck bounced right to Nathan Horton in front of the net and the right wing flipped the shot in for his fourth goal of the season to make it a 3-2 hockey game. Less than a minute later Patrice Bergeron had the puck in the slot and spotted Tyler Seguin wide open on the left wing for a potential game-tying goal.

Bergerons pass bounced off Ryan Callahans stick in front of the net and went right back to Brad Marchand in the right face-off circle. The Nose Face Killah cranked a wrist under the bar for the game-tying score and TD Garden went absolutely bonkers after watching the kind of comeback this batch of Bruins players have made believable.

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

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Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.

 

Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

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Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting for the next wave of announcements that the Bruins have signed college players out of the NCAA tournament.
 
-- Former Wild goaltender Josh Harding is finding his way after his MS diagnosis forced him out of the NHL prematurely.

-- Young D-man Seth Jones is becoming the “hoss” defenseman that the Blue Jackets will need come playoff time.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Wild coach Bruce Boudreau calling a loss to the Canucks “embarrassing” as the hard times continue for Minnesota.  

-- Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney is ready to step up for the Leafs after they lost Frederik Andersen to injury.
 
-- Old friend David Warsofsky has been recalled from the AHL and will be with the Penguins as crunch time hits ahead of the playoffs.

-- USA Hockey is now reportedly reaching out to rec league and former Division III women’s hockey players to find a replacement roster for the world championships as the USA women continues their boycott.
 
-- For something completely different: We have an honest-to-goodness think piece about pulling the “Irish Exit.” Well, okay then.