Here’s Five Thoughts on the second period with the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders knotted up at two goals apiece.
1. Studnicka Doing Everything But Score
Boston Bruins rookie forward Jack Studnicka is doing everything but score tonight! Just 4:36 into the middle frame, Studnicka found himself on the doorstep of the goal and missed an empty-net chance.
Jack Studnicka will have dreams about this. Oh man: pic.twitter.com/B0MCSiKw7m
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) February 26, 2021
Then just over eight minutes later, Studnicka streaked up the middle and through the Islanders’ defense and almost caught a loft pass in front from Bruins winger Craig Smith but islanders forward Matt Martin accidentally tipped the pass into the net and Smith got credit for his fourth goal of the season. The constant hustle from Studnicak though is more than making up for his two missed chances to light the lamp.
This whole sequence from Craig Smith is something. pic.twitter.com/wcXfGRp6yX
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 26, 2021
2. Depth Scoring There Again
In their 7-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe Sunday, the Bruins got the depth scoring they always seem to be lacking. Bruins forwards Nick Ritchie, Charlie Coyle, and Tren Frederic all lit the lamp to help bust the game open. Tonight the Bruins have gotten goals from Ritchie again and now from Smith. As the schedule gets crazier and the points mean more, the Bruins will need their bottom nine forwards to pick up even more slack as teams crack down on and try to wear down ‘The Perfection Line’ of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak. The last two games are a good sign they will get that depth scoring.
3. Vaak Attack
For the second straight game, Urho Vaakanainen has factored into the scoring. The Boston Bruins rookie defenseman got the secondary assist on Smith’s goal 11:36 into the middle frame. As he did in training camp, Vaakanainen is playing with more confidence and poise than he’s shown in prior call-ups. He’s seeing the ice better and using his hockey sense to create offense.
4. DeBrusk Bounces Back
Early in the period, DeBrusk was able to get in on a partial breakaway on Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov but as he has done to so many Bruins shooters this season (.920 save percentage against the B’s coming into tonight), stoned him. DeBrusk kept hustling though and ended up with the primary assist on the Smith goal.
5. Halak Settles In
After allowing two goals on ten Islanders shots in the first period, Boston Bruins goalie Jaro Halak settled into the game in the middle frame. Halak stopped all nine shots the Isles had in the period and it was clear the Bruins fed off his saves. This game could’ve gotten blown open in the second period with the way things went in the first but Halak held the fort down.