Talking Points: Bruins 2, Avalanche 0

Talking Points: Bruins 2, Avalanche 0
March 22, 2014, 12:45 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

GOLD STAR: Chad Johnson was a little harried in the first period while making 14 saves while he was absolutely under siege by the speedy Colorado attack, but he settled down to close the door on the Avs once Boston got the lead. He was at his best making 10 saves in the second period while stoning Max Talbot on a breakaway, and shutting down Jan Hejda on a wide open chance in front courtesy of a slick pass from Matt Duchene. The victory improved Johnson to 5-0-0 during the month of March with a .954 save percentage and 1.20 goals against average.

BLACK EYE: Matt Duchene was buzzing around in the first couple of periods and nearly set up a Jan Hejda goal directly in front of the net, but finished without a single shot on net in 20:41 of ice time. Duchene also lost 6-of-10 face-off attempts, and was slowed down at the end of the second period when Zdeno Chara threw him to the ice in front of the penalty boxes. The hard hitting from the Bruins bruising crew seemed to really slow down the Avalanche as the game moved along, and Duchene was certainly a prime example of that.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins held on amid the tempest in the first period as the Avalanche unloaded 14 shots on net, and both Gabriel Landeskog and Brad Malone both missed shot attempts on empty nets. Patrice Bergeron then scored at the tail end of the period to really take some of the air out of Colorado’s sails, and start putting some undue pressure on the Avs as they trailed in the game. Once the Bruins have a lead on most teams this season, it’s time to say goodnight and Friday night was no different in Denver.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dougie Hamilton was excellent for the Bruins while playing a playoff-style against a highly explosive group of offensive players in the Avalanche. He played 19:18 of largely mistake-free hockey, and assisted on both of Boston’s goals in the first two periods. The first helper to Patrice Bergeron alone in the slot was a clever pass that set the B’s center free to shoot all alone in the slot, and the second was a nice smooth action from the point on the power play. Those looking for reassuring evidence that Hamilton will be able to handle things in the playoffs need only look at the Colorado game tape.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19 – the number of consecutive periods where the Bruins have held the lead throughout play, dating back to a March 9 win over Florida when they briefly trailed the Florida Panthers. It’s the last time they were behind in a game in any way, shape or form.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We really need to focus on all the little details going into the playoffs. We need to not get satisfied or complacent.” –Zdeno Chara on the team’s mindset after becoming the NHL’s first team to clinch a playoff spot on Friday night.