For the Boston Bruins, Thursday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks was reminiscent of too many of their home games to start the season with their overall play lacking a level of intensity that they need in order to succeed. Despite the Bruins having controlled the play in the offensive zone for almost three and a half minutes after the puck dropped to start the game, Canucks Sven Baertschi would score on a partial breakaway, going five-hole on Tuukka Rask at 3:27 of the first period and the Bruins would find themselves playing from behind for the entire game.
It took Boston almost two full periods to tie the game, when Jimmy Hayes finally got a wrist shot past Jacob Markstrom at 19:08 for his 11th goal of the season with assists from David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner. Going into that second intermission it looked like perhaps the Bruins had figured out what they were doing wrong and were turning things around.
Unfortunately the Canucks would come out in the third and pick up where they left off before the horn signaled the end of the second—outshooting the Bruins—and just 1:49 into that final frame, Alexandre Burrows put Vancouver back on top. Resilience would show with Boston as Brad Marchand tied the game just a little more than two minutes later at 4:15 with the lone assist on the sheet going to Patrice Bergeron.
While it looked like perhaps the Bruins could pull something from an otherwise lackluster game, the need to play catch-up hockey coupled with a lot of sloppy play saw Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin getting what became the game-winning goal less than three minutes later. The score stuck at 3-2 until Sedin stabbed in the final dagger, scoring the empty netter with just 23 seconds remaining in the game for a final score of 4-2.
One of the things that was most noticeable throughout the game was how both teams seemed to struggle with the puck. By the end of the game Vancouver had a combined 20 giveaways throughout the three periods while Boston had 23.
“Yeah, the ice wasn’t great,” Spooner said afterwards. “I mean, at the end of the game there just the pass to the top and it was bouncing. And both teams have to deal with that so it’s fair, but it’s just one of those games where it turned out like that so, again it was just kind of a bummer.”
It was fair as Spooner alluded. However, it was the Bruins’ sloppy play that would be their undoing in what was Rask’s 300th career NHL game—a milestone he would have preferred to recognize with a win.
While both David Krejci and Landon Ferraro returned to the ice—Krejci’s last game having been the Bruins’ loss at Ottawa on December 27—it wasn’t just a little rust in Krejci’s game but an overall failure in puck management among the entire team that forced head coach Claude Julien to do some juggling of his lines as the game went on.
Ferraro pretty much summed up the game when he described their inability to tie the game for the third time.
“It’s just when you play a sloppy game, it’s going to bite you.” — Landon Ferraro
And that’s just what happened.
For the locker room postgame interviews, see the video below: