So last night the Bruins went into Vancouver looking for their sixth win in a row. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. The Bruins at the end of a western Canada road trip and in the second half of a back to back looked tired. It was clear this was a tired team as missed coverages and mental mistakes cost them several times. The Bruins have still won eleven of their last thirteen and are still at the top of the NHL points standings. Sometimes you just have to take your lumps and move on.
The game got off to a great start for the Bruins. In the first minute of the game Heinen spun a backhand shot towards the net, giving Debrusk two chances to force the rebound into the net. Markstrom held his ground and the puck could not find an opening. For the first five minutes the Bruins were in control, outshooting Vancouver 6-1. Vancouver would have the early puck luck though, as a seemingly routine shot from the right dot with traffic in front found its way into the net. The Bruins would answer back just over three minutes later with a goal of their own. As the Bruins forced a turnover in their defensive zone Pastrnak flew up the ice and Grzelcyk hit him with a perfect pass. The Vancouver defenseman lost an edge falling to the ice leaving Pasta with just the goalie to beat and he did just that, tying the score at one. Vancouver would go on the game’s first power play and a missed coverage left Horvat alone in the slot. Horvat fired a shot over the blocker of Rask giving Vancouver the lead 2-1. The first period would end with the same score and Vancouver clearly playing like the better team for the last half of the period.
The Bruins started the second period with a few line changes in an attempt to infuse some energy in their game. It looked like it worked as much like the first period the Bruins looked like the better team to start. A turnover in the Bruins defensive zone would lead to Vancouver's third goal of the game. The Bruins would respond, mostly thanks to the fourth line which used some physical play to create chances. With just over five minutes left Vancouver would score yet again, this time off a rebound. Pearson just outworked the Bruins defense for position to knock the puck in. Vancouver still wasn't done, as a shot from the point would create another rebound opportunity this time for Eriksson. The Bruins would have two great chances to score before the end of the period. Krug would have his shot go right across the goal line, then Markstrom would make a great save on a shot from Pastrnak,keeping the score 5-1.
The third period would not start the Bruins way as yet another lapse in coverage would lead to a goal from Pettersson to make it 6-1. The Bruins, to their credit, would show some life with Pastrnak scoring his second of the game on the power play. Then the fourth line would go to work once again. Wagner would follow his slap shot, collect the rebound and with a move to his backhand he would get the puck around Markstrom for the goal. It was now just 6-3 and the Bruins had some life to at least make it a close game. Tyler Toffoli would make sure that wouldn't happen, scoring his first goal as a member of the Canucks. Then just minutes later after the Bruins misplayed a simple rebound the puck would find it's way onto Toffoli's stick once again for his second goal of the game. The final goal of the game would come from Virtanen, who sniped the corner over the glove of Halak. The final score was 9-3 with Vancouver walking away with the big win.
Three Stars/Final Thoughts
The first star of tonight's game goes to Troy Stecher, who had his first career three-point game and scored the opening goal. The second star goes to Tyler Toffoli who also had three points and scored his first two goals as a member of the Canucks. Finally, the third star goes to J.T. Miller,who had three assists with some perfect drop passes that the Bruins just couldn't defend. The good news after all this is the Bruins are off until Tuesday. A few days off is just what this team needs to get some energy back in their legs. Pastrnak also scored two goals, giving him 45 on the season as well as a two-goal lead in the race for the rocket trophy. The final bit of good news is Wagner finally scored. He was probably one of the most snake-bitten forwards on the team. Hopefully getting this one will lead to a few more in the coming games. It's never good to get beat like this, but it also can serve as a wake-up call. The Bruins have been almost unbeatable,?winning eleven of their last thirteen, so hopefully this loss reminds them that it takes 100% every night to win. With Tampa hot on the Bruins tail this team can't afford to take its foot off the gas in any games down the stretch. The trade deadline is now just a day away so keep checking back for all the latest and for updates on all our favorite Boston teams.
Featured image courtesy of Canucks.com