Bruins get back to stifling ways in big win over Blues
|01.10.17 at 11:14 pm ET|
The Bruins made sure that the standing ovation given to David Backes early in the first period would be the only time a sellout crowd at Scottrade Center had anything meaningful to cheer about.
Saluted by the Blues for his decade of service to the organization, included five as the team’s captain, it was Backes’ newest linemate, Frank Vatrano, that silenced the crowd just moments later with a power-play goal eight minutes into the first period.
Defenseman Brandon Carlo extended the lead to two with a Plinko-esque bounce off the endboards, off Jake Allen, and into the St. Louis net. And then 2017 All-Star Brad Marchand sniped home his 14th goal of the season just 2:32 after that, and by the end of the period, the Bruins had more goals than the Blues had shots (two).
And as if that three-goal lead wasn’t safe (funny you should say that, as the game ended as a 5-3 final for the Bruins), the Black and Gold made it 4-0 behind a Torey Krug power-play goal barely a minute into the middle frame.
In a season marred by poor starts and early game no-shows, the Bruins straight-up slammed the Blues behind one of their most inspired efforts to date. And for the Bruins, it came in a game in which one of their leaders (Backes) could have very well been distracted entirely out of the game and allowed the Blues to dictate the pace immediately following the video tribute.
Instead, the B’s poured pressure on with an 11-to-2 shot advantage through 20 minutes, 27-to-11 through 40 minutes, and 39-to-17 shot advantage — and with just 17 shot attempts either missed or blocked — by the time the game ended.
It all happened in spite of a power-play advantage that saw the Bruins down a man five times in total on the night, with three kills on five times to the kill (the second power-play goal against came with Kevan Miller in the box and the Bruins down Colin Miller and Adam McQuaid, meaning the Bruins had just three defensemen at their disposal for the kill), and requiring a night of 7:46 shorthanded time on ice from captain Zdeno Chara, who logged 28:31 of time on ice in total in the win.
Chara’s contributions continued to highlight the fact that this trip, which has seen the Bruins grab five of a possible six points so far, has become a success behind the play of the B’s best talents and leaders. As was the case Saturday night in Florida, the Black and Gold’s top six and top pairing really smothered the hell out anything that the Blues tried to muster up before the game was already out of hand, and made life relatively easy for Rask in terms of the quality of shots thrown his way.
That overall theme of the night is nothing all that new to the Bruins, of course.
This team has controlled pace and shots against on a fairly regular basis. But it’s the tangible results — goals, leads, and contributions from their best players — that have proved difficult to find on a nightly basis. But Chara looked like Chara, and the Bergeron-Marchand combination looked like the dynamic one-two punch they’ve been for the last five years.
And the B’s made this trip a success, regardless of what happens when they square off against the Predators Thursday night.