Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Eventful night for Bruins' 4th line featured busted nose, disallowed goal

Matt Kalman
November 24, 2018 - 10:46 am

The Bruins’ fourth line doesn’t have a nickname yet, but it’s building chemistry and now it has enjoyed at least one eventful night together after the happenings of Boston’s 2-1 overtime win against Pittsburgh on Friday.

Chris Wagner, hit by a high stick from linemate David Backes during a two-man forecheck, had the battle scars to prove it was a busy night for his line.

“He looked like a hungry lion out there,” center Sean Kuraly said.

First, and most importantly, the line of Wagner, Kuraly and Backes gave the Bruins a solid 10 minutes of ice time a 5-on-5, matching up against every Penguins line and holding its own in each head-to-head as far as possession.

With 3:35 left in the second period, the fourth line even almost scored the go-ahead goal. Or it scored in the eyes of most people, but not in the eyes of the referees on the ice or the video review folks in Toronto.

Backes’ backhand to the short side had just one place to land once it went past goaltender Tristan Jarry’s pad.

But because there weren’t any clear views (at least as far as the NHL Situation Room was concerned) the goal that was waved off on the ice couldn’t be overturned. The score remained tied 1-1.

There were some angles and still photos that showed the puck in the net.

Backes said after the game he planned on doing the Auston Matthews hand-to-ear celebration after he scored. Well that one’s still in the holster and Backes has time to decide if he’s going to do an Auston Matthews or an Austin Powers after he finally scores his first goal.

“When it’s not going in, it’s not going in,” said Backes. “Or when it goes in you don’t get credit for it. But we persevered and played through it. And I thought the reaction and the way we kept playing was encouraging. Obviously it sucks, would’ve liked to have that, but try it again next game.”

Kuraly had the best view of the puck, but his vote didn’t count.

“Yeah, I don’t know what I’m allowed to say and what I’m not, I really don’t,” Kuraly said. “But I saw the puck pass the line. You can’t see it on video, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t see the angle, I can see it pass the line, before I even touched it, so I’m not saying it for me or anything. I hope that doesn’t get me in trouble, I’m just telling you what I saw. I know the camera views weren’t good but that’s what happened.”

After Wagner had his nose busted, he kept playing and even nearly scored the go-ahead goal in the third period with a strong drive to the net.

The Bruins’ lineup has been in flux because of injuries, but it’s becoming apparent coach Bruce Cassidy has a fourth line he can keep together and count on.

Related: Bruins notes: Nordstrom plays hero while Forsbacka Karlsson barely survives