Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports

Bruins 4, Canadiens 3: Another big win that will go unnoticed

Ty Anderson
January 14, 2018 - 12:21 am

In keeping up with what’s been the theme of their season, the Bruins played their most anticipated game of the season, a Saturday night showdown against Claude Julien and the Canadiens, the same night and time as an obviously far more important local game.

But fortunately for viewers unwilling to commit to the ‘Last’ Polka -- I managed to miss all 28 points scored in the first half, which I didn’t believe to be possible when factoring each game’s commercials in -- the B’s saved their best for halftime in Foxboro.

With the Pats-Titans in their locker rooms, it was a Brad Marchand shootout goal that capped the best (most entertaining) overtime of their season and a 4-3 win in Montreal.

Squared up against Claude Julien’s average-at-best club for the first time since he was fired by the B’s back in Feb. 2017, Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask kicked a puck into his own net and put his team in an 0-1 hole at the 3:22 mark of the first period.

It was as bad an omen as the Bruins, with rust a very real possibility after nearly a full week between games thanks to their bye week, could probably get in enemy territory.

Even when the B’s stormed back with goals from Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, an unassisted goal from Montreal’s Nicolas Deslauriers and a power-play marker from Alex Galchenyuk just 3:06 apart in the second period brought you back down.

The Bruins felt like a team chasing in every respect, and making The Last Polka unworthy of your time. Each attempt felt like a gamble in and of itself, expecting to return to NESN to see the Canadiens celebrating or the Bell Centre hopping.

But it was from the Galchenyuk goal that Rask’s game improved (though that wasn’t going to be difficult with a 11-for-14 start to his evening), and the B’s along with it.

David Krejci stormed back with an amazing effort to knot things up at 3-3 before the end of the second period, and it was in the third that the Black and Gold turned the pressure up on Carey Price, peppering Price for 10 shots at the halfway mark frame.

Their efforts did not result in a goal, but it did give Rask a breather, and slowed the game down from the at times frantic pace that the Habs tried to force the Bruins into. (It was an opening pace that certainly seemed to borderline startle the Bruins in the first.)

And as the ice tilted back in Montreal’s favor, it was Rask that once again stood tall in overtime and into the shootout, with 16-straight saves following the Galchenyuk goal, including five in overtime and stops on all but one of the Canadiens’ shootout attempts. He got help from Torey Krug, too, who completely laid himself out and kept a puck from crossing the goal line in overtime, and with some strong offensive zone time from the likes of Krejci, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Charlie McAvoy. 

There’s something oddly fitting about all of this.

When the Bruins opened their season with a dominant victory over the defending Western Conference champion Predators, our eyes were peeled to Red Sox playoff postgame coverage and a Patriots-Bucs Thursday Night Football game. When the Bruins smacked the Blue Jackets around by a 7-2 final, our eyes were glued to watching the Celtics pull off a comeback against the Pacers. When the Bruins (finally) looked competitive against the Capitals despite the shootout loss, they were going up against another massive Celtic comeback, this one against the Rockets.

It’s just amazing that we’re constantly talking about this team’s gut-it-out, season-altering performances getting overshadowed by the other teams and their obviously bigger games. Without fail. 

But for those looking for their first complete look at the local hockey team, you’ll be happy to learn that the B’s won’t find themselves matched up against anybody ‘cept the Canadiens when these teams meet again next Wednesday in Boston.

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