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Breaking down a ridiculous 22-minute stretch of Bruins dominance

11.23.13 at 5:31 pm ET
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At the 9:13 mark of the first period, Carolina’s Jeff Skinner wristed a shot on net that Chad Johnson turned aside. Then the Hurricanes didn’t register another shot on goal until the 11:56 mark of the second, a stretch of more than 22 minutes.

Think about that. More than a full period of hockey without a single shot on goal. The Hurricanes only even attempted four shots, and three of those were blocked.

Basically, it was about as lopsided of a stretch as you’ll see. The Bruins strung together one dominant shift after another, barely letting the Hurricanes out of their own zone, never mind into the Bruins zone.

The B’s put 15 shots on goal during the 22-minute run, and attempted 24. At one point during the middle of it, they reeled off 15 straight attempts without surrendering any (see the flat line in the middle of the Extra Skater graph below).

That long, flat red line is what happens when a team can't get into the offensive zone. (Extra Skater)

That long, flat red line is what happens when a team can’t get into the offensive zone. (Extra Skater)

It was the kind of stretch coaches dream about, and it was a showcase of how dominant the Bruins can be when they have all four lines going at once. The Hurricanes are obviously not one of the best teams in the NHL, but to go on a run like that against any team is impressive.

“You build momentum not only on the ice, but on the bench,” Reilly Smith said. “Positivity grows and helps the team. The first two periods, we did a good job building on each other’s shifts, and when you’re doing that, you’re wearing their defense down and you’re creating more opportunities doing that.”

Of course, for all that dominance, the Bruins only scored once during those 22 minutes, on a power-play goal by Zdeno Chara with 5:11 left in the first. But they did score again less than two minutes after Eric Staal finally ended Carolina’s shots on goal drought, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the Hurricanes were pretty worn down at that point.

The Bruins didn’t play great outside of that 22-minute stretch, which is why they needed overtime to get the win Saturday. But that run did change the game, even if it didn’t produce as many goals as Claude Julien would’ve liked.

It’s unrealistic to ever expect another stretch of that kind of dominance for that long a period, but even stringing together three or four shifts like that can swing momentum.

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