BOSTON - The Bruins and Blues were thought to be similar teams prior to facing each other on Thursday night. That was proven true through 65 minutes of heavy, physical playoff-style hockey.
The Bruins ended up losing 3-2 when Derek Roy beat Tuukka Rask in the shootout, but that didn’t take away from the consistent, strong effort given over regulation and overtime. That prompted Rask to slam his stick against the net in frustration at the loss, and the fact the team gets less than two points by virtue of the cheesy shootout.
The Bruins fourth line opened up the scoring when Gregory Campbell slipped a wobbly one-timer off the post past Jaroslav Halak after a nifty cross-ice feed from Torey Krug. It was the fifth goal for the B’s fourth line in the last six games.
Thirty-one seconds later a dribbling Roy shot from just inside the blue line somehow slipped through Tuukka Rask’s five hole for the rare soft goal.
The B’s and Blues traded goals again in the second period. This time Kevin Shattenkirk fired home a point shot through traffic after David Backes beat Milan Lucic on a face-off in the defensive zone.
The Bruins stormed back and tied it up when Carl Soderberg snapped home a wrist shot from the high slot after both Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith did a nice job cycling the puck before getting it to the Big Swede.
The Bruins and Blues then battled through a scoreless third period and overtime despite breakaway chances for Roy and Soderberg. Roy hit the crossbar and Soderberg was stoned by Halak on a backhanded bid. That led way to the always anti-climactic shootout.
GOLD STAR: Derek Roy might not have been the most dominant player in the game, but he scored the St. Louis goal right before the end of the first period that befuddled Tuukka Rask, nearly ended things in overtime with a breakaway chance that rang off the crossbar, and then beat Rask in the shootout to hand the Blues two points. He also created five shot attempts, finished a plus-1 and lost 4 of 11 face-offs, but the production was where it was at baby. Not a surprise given how familiar Roy is with the Black and Gold through all his previous battles with them as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
BLACK EYE: Alexander Steen scored in the shootout, but the Bruins put him under wraps for 65 minutes of regulation plus overtime, and held him without a shot in 24:42 of ice time. It was the first time Steen was held without a shot in a game this season after starting with 17 goals in 20 games. He saw a steady dose of Zdeno Chara every time he hopped over the boards, and absorbed big hits from Chara and Milan Lucic during the game. At one point in the third period he actually cross-checked Patrice Bergeron in the back out of what appeared to be frustration.
TURNING POINT: Both teams had a chance to win in overtime with Derek Roy hitting the crossbar on a breakaway attempt created when Alex Steen beat Dougie Hamilton to a puck, and Jaroslav Halak turning away a Carl Soderberg backhander after he collected a pass behind the St. Louis defense. The game should have ended in regulation. Instead it went on to the shootout where it all ended in anticlimactic fashion with Derek Roy beating Tuukka Rask for the winner, and Rask resorting to dropping F-bombs in Finnish after the game was over.
HONORABLE MENTION: Gregory Campbell scored his first goal of the season in his 22nd game, and centered a fourth line that had a whale of a game against the Blues. Campbell finished with six shot attempts generated, three registered hits and a pair of blocked shots while also winning 9-of-11 face-offs. The arms raised celebration after Campbell scored really showed just how much the slow start to the season had been wearing on him, but it was only a matter of time given the way his skating has improved in the last couple of weeks. He is starting to look back to normal along with the rest of his linemates.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4-3-1 – the B’s record this season when they allow a goal within the last two minutes of a period, which is far too many times if it’s happened in eight out of 22 games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We played a great game, I thought. I gave up that worst goal of my career probably there, and it brought them back in the game.” –Tuukka Rask, clearly not happy about the Derek Roy shot that trickled through his pads at the end of the first period vs. the Blues.