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Bruins Musings: Second Period Dominance The Difference



NEW YORK – Four goals in 12:09 in the second period lifted the Boston Bruins to a dominating 7-4 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night. The victory capped off a dominating weekend that also saw the Bruins get revenge on the St. Louis Blues Saturday night. The top line, yet again, set the tone for the Bruins as Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand combined for three of the club’s four second period goals. Charlie Coyle finally got on the board with the period’s other goal. Marchand’s goals, his sixth and seventh, moved him just four goals behind David Pastrnak for the team lead.

Zdeno Chara added his second goal of the season just 43 seconds into the third period. That killed any potential hope inside Madison Square Garden of a comeback victory. The Rangers opened the scoring on a Michael Haley goal 10:19 into the game. Pavel Buchnevich made it 5-2 8:15 into the final frame, but Bergeron’s second of the night at 11:39 gave the Bruins their four goal lead back.

Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei scored late for the Rangers, while Bergeron deposited the hat-trick goal into an empty net at 19:15 of the third.

Jaroslav Halak made 25 saves in the victory, while Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves in the loss. King Henrik was lifted after surrendering four goals in the second period. Alexandr Georgiev played the third period in relief.

No Longer a Weak Spot

The second period has been an issue for the Bruins all season long. On Sunday night, the middle frame was the springboard to two points for the Bruins. They outshot the Rangers 21-5 overall in the period, and outscored them 4-0. A deeper dive into the numbers shows just how dominating the Bruins were.

In the first 13 minutes of the second period, per @Bruins_Stats on Twitter, the Bruins outshot the Rangers by an 18-2 margin. They out-attempted the Rangers 22-4, while outscoring them 4-0. The most outstanding stat in this bunch? The Bruins destroyed the Rangers in terms of scoring chances, holding a 13-0 advantage.

A usual weak spot for the Bruins was their strongest stretch on this night.

Top Line Dominance

The Bruins top line is making a strong case to be named the best line in the NHL. Bergeron netted his first hat-trick of the season and the fifth of his illustrious career. It was his first since October 8th, 2018 when he scored three against the Ottawa Senators.

Marchand tacked on a pair, while David Pastrnak finished with five assists. Even on a night when the NHL’s top goal scorer couldn’t light the lamp, he made a major impact on the scoresheet. Pastrnak and Bergeron also changed the momentum in this hockey game. Trailing by a goal, Pastrnak drove to the net but was tripped up, barreling into Lundqvist. With the goaltender down and out, Bergeron snapped his first of the season home to even things up.

After a lengthy conversation, it was ruled a goal on the ice and upheld on video review. An emotional Rangers team was thrown off their game, and the Bruins took the lead just under a minute later. That sequence essentially changed the tide in this affair.

The difference between a mature, composed team and a young, emotional team was on display in this sequence.

Coyle Breaks Drought

Charlie Coyle scored his first goal of the season 9:27 into the second period, putting the Bruins ahead 3-1 at the time. In a vacuum, the goal was just another in a dominant second period. This goal means much more than that overall. Coyle and the rest of the secondary scorers have come up empty early this season.

Although the Bruins are winning hockey games, it is unsustainable to survive with just one line clicking. The Bruins will need depth players like Coyle and Jake DeBrusk to step up and provide offense if they hope to go deep into the postseason again this spring.

Coyle getting on the board tonight could break things open for the talented forward. An already dangerous Bruins team could be even more dangerous.

Lindholm Injured

Forward Par Lindholm left the contest with an upper-body injury. Bruce Cassidy had no update for the media during his postgame availability. Cassidy expects to have more news on the forward on Monday.

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