DALLAS – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Dallas Stars 1-0 after the first 40 minutes at the American Airlines Center.
1) David Krejci breaks six-game goal-scoring drought with a big goal right at the end of the second period. Milan Lucic beats Rich Peverley with a puck battle in the corner, and feeds Krejci in the slot for the one-timer hammered top shelf past Kari Lehtonen. Timely, clutch goal for a line that was way overdue.
2) Didn’t love the Bruins’ first period, but they came back with a strong period (that’s a nice change). They outshot the Stars by an 18-12 margin and earned the bit of good fortune they got at the end of the period with Krejci’s score.
3) A strong game tonight from Matt Bartkowski, who leads all B’s skaters with a 16:36 ice time total through two periods and set the scoring sequence in motion with an aggressive play skating the puck into the Dallas zone. He’s got three hits and a couple of shot attempts, and hasn’t made any major missteps while handling the puck quite a bit.
4) Twenty three saves for Chad Johnson in a solid showing tonight after nearly a month since his last start on Dec. 19. He also showed some real mettle when he took an inadvertent Zdeno Chara stick in the eye hole that left him with a large cut under his left eye. He was bleeding before the corner man Donnie Delnegro closed up the wound, and Johnson kept right on playing after the scary incident. That’s guts, folks.
5) Loui Eriksson was drilled with a big hit from Brendan Dillon in the neutral zone while he was watching a pass he’d just made to Ryan Spooner. It was a clean hit, and also a good reminder to the Swedish winger that he needs to play with a little more awareness as a member of the Bruins. Teams aren’t going to pull any punches against any member of the B’s, and Eriksson puts himself in vulnerable positions. The good news about the hit: Eriksson popped right back up and kept playing afterward.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Dallas Stars locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes:
1) It seems that frustration is starting to bubble over for the Bruins. They couldn’t convert on another 2-on-1 when Patrice Bergeron opted to pass to Brad Marchand instead of shooting on the net. Alex Goligoski broke up the play, and then later in the period Kari Lehtonen stoned Brad Marchand on a shorthanded breakaway. It seems like a replay of the offense’s inability to finish against a Leafs team giving them plenty of chances. Dallas, by the way, outshot the Bruins 11-6 in the first period.
2) Gregory Campbell appeared to have a goal in the first period after an energetic shift from the Merlot Line, but a review by the NHL war room cancelled out the score. Daniel Paille fired a puck at the net that bounced off Trevor Daley, and hit Campbell’s book before squirting through Lehtonen’s pads. It didn’t appear to be a distinct kicking motion, and was a lousy call in that regard. But there was a Dallas delayed penalty on the play as well, and the refs could have blown the play dead when the puck hit Daley in front of the net. Easy come, easy go.
3) Four shot attempts, a 2-for-3 performance in the face-off circle and a much more engaged performance tonight for Tyler Seguin against his former team.
4) The Bruins lost their cool a bit at the end of the first when Vern Fiddler started looking for trouble. He tried to pitchfork the puck and Chad Johnson into the net, and then cross-checked Zdeno Chara during the ensuing argument. Adam McQuaid tried to do the right thing and step in for Chara, but it turned into both Chara and McQuaid going to the box in exchange for Fiddler. That’s not a good trade for Boston on any level.
5) Three shots on net for Erik Cole in 6:31 and a big hit on Johnny Boychuk as payback for their last encounter in Boston back in November. Impressive effort from him in the first 20 minutes, but he seems to always play well against the Bruins.