The Boston Bruins secured two much-needed points in the Eastern Conference wild-card playoff race with a 2-1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.
Boston’s two youngest forwards, David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner, scored the goals. Pastrnak’s overtime goal sealed the result. He also picked up the primary assist on Spooner’s first-period tally.
The Bruins will return to game action Tuesday night at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Here are three takeaways from Bruins-Hurricanes:
1. Ryan Spooner Opens Scoring, Extends Point Streak
The Bruins took a 1-0 first-period lead when Spooner beat Hurricanes goaltender Anton Khudobin with a wrist shot from the slot at 2:21. Pastrnak waited just long enough for the play to develop before feeding Spooner, who now has six goals since being recalled to Boston on Feb. 21. He also owns a 3-game point streak.
The Bruins dominated puck possession the first five minutes of the period with a 10-3 edge in shot attempts, but the Hurricanes responded well and finished the period with a 24-18 lead in shot attempts.
B’s goaltender Tuukka Rask made eight saves in the period.
2. Poor Second Period Results In Tie Game
Carolina dominated play in the second period and spent a ton of time in the attacking zone. The Bruins looked tired, and it showed when the Hurricanes were first to loose pucks and created scoring chances off the rush.
The Hurricanes led 23-11 in second-period shot attempts and tied the game 1-1 when Nathan Gerbe beat Rask up high stick side on a 2-on-1 rush with just 22 seconds remaining in the period.
If not for Rask’s 11 saves, many of which came on shots from the home plate area, the Hurricanes would’ve taken a lead into the third period.
3. Bruins Regain Control of Their Own Destiny In Playoff Race
Sunday’s victory gives the Bruins a 3-point lead over the Ottawa Senators and a 4-point edge over the Florida Panthers in the race for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Panthers, who will travel to Boston for a Tuesday night matchup with the Bruins at TD Garden, defeated the Senators 4-2 on the road Sunday evening. The Senators are 0-2-1 in their last three games following a dominant 15-1-1 stretch.
Here are the updated wild card standings through Sunday’s games. The first tiebreaker is ROW (regulation and overtime wins).
Bruins: 89 points, 76 games, 35 ROW
Senators: 86 points, 75 games, 32 ROW
Panthers: 85 points, 76 games, 27 ROW
Thumbnail photo via Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports Images
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