Here are the Talking Points from a game the Boston Bruins needed to have and a game they won 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins behind a brilliant 34-save performance from rookie goalie Dan Vladar in his first NHL start.
After David Pastrnak put the Bruins up 1-0 with his 13th of the season on the powerplay at 3:20 of the first period, Penguins winger Brandon Tanev tied the game at 15:22 of the second period. The Bruins weren’t going to be denied though and forward Trent Frederic scored at 7:07 of the third period and made sure they got the win for their rookie goalie in his first start.
GOLD STAR: Dan Vladar – If Vladar wasn’t the Gold Star tonight, then my Talking Points rights would need to be revoked! I mean, let’s be real here, raise your hand if you saw the rook coming in and stonewalling the hottest team in the NHL after his team dropped a 4-1 decision the night before, in an arena the Bruins hadn’t won at since the 2015-16 season. Yeah, you three raising hands are lying!
Watching Vladar make his amazing stick save (see below) in the first period and then settle into a zone was like watching a rookie Red Sox pitcher pitch a gem at Yankee Stadium for his first MLB win. The more the game went on, the more the sports fan in us cheered for him and he rewarded us and a team in need of an emotional spark with a gem of his own.
“I was a little bit nervous. … You just want to show your best,” Dan Vladar said following the biggest win of his life. “Not every day can be your best day, so I just tried to do my best. I’m the happiest guy in the world right now.”
He was his best and more.
BLACK EYE: If Bruins fans can take their Black and Gold blinders off and look at this objectively, I’m sure they’ll agree that if Tom Wilson’s cheap shot on Brandon Carlo wasn’t even a two-minute minor, this hit by Tanev on Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi surely isn’t a five-minute major.
The inconsistency of NHL officiating this season has reached an all-time high of being pathetic! This was a clean hit and if they don’t want more injuries, then the NHL and the NHL Department of Player Safety need to sit down with the NHLPA and get on the same page.
TURNING POINT: The brilliant stick save by Dan Vladar on Colton Sceviour late in the first period not only got him in the zone but made his teammates even more determined to get the rookie his first NHL win.
THIS IS DAN VLADAR'S FIRST NHL START, TOO! pic.twitter.com/D3JjYY4qbJ
— NHL (@NHL) March 16, 2021
“The whole bench got up. When you make a save like that, it’s bound to lift the guys,” Bruins head coach said of the save of the year candidate by Dan Vladar.
“It was pretty unreal. Once he did that, I knew he was locked in. I knew we had to get the win for him and we did,” Frederic said.
That’s exactly what they did and in the process, they helped provide Vladar with a game puck and a win he’ll never forget!
HONORABLE MENTION: Trent Frederic – The Bruins rookie winger continues to be an unsung hero and steps up when his team needs him most. His game-winner in the third period gave him four goals on the season and served as even more proof that the Bruins may have the next premier power forward in their lineup.
BY THE NUMBERS: 18 – The number of powerplays the Bruins penalty kill has killed since Brock Nelson scored a powerplay goal for the New York Islanders 16:18 into the second period of a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on March 9.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Enjoy your first game because before you know it, it’s your last game” – Boston Bruins 35-year-old goalie Jaro Halak to 23-year-old rookie Dan Vladar before his first NHL start.