The Boston Bruins missed an opportunity to keep pace for first place in the East Division with a third period collapse that led to a 5-4 loss to the New York Rangers.
GOLD STAR: Pavel Buchnevich. After serving his one-game suspension in what turned out to be a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins for his team Thursday night, Buchnevich was everywhere on Saturday afternoon. The Rangers forward finished with three helpers and set up teammate Mika Zibanejad for what proved to be the game-winning goal with 1:53 left in regulation. Buchnevich finished with four shots on net and also blocked three shots in 20:47 TOI.
BLACK EYE: The third period. The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers were tied at one goal apiece after two periods of play and then the Bruins seemingly decided to stop playing team defense. After Pastrnak made it 2-1 Bruins with his 200th career goal 21 ticks into the final frame, the Bruins – despite the fact that the Rangers have a high octane offense – decided it would be a good idea to play pond hockey with the Blueshirts. With nothing to play for and in their final game of the season, the Rangers happily obliged scoring the next three goals and gaining a 4-2 lead 9:36 into the period. The Bruins did push back but every time they did, the Rangers had an answer, After winger Brad Marchand scored his 28th goal of the season on the powerplay to make it 4-3 at 14:08, Zibanejad scored his 24th of the season to make it 5-3 Rangers. Patrice Bergeron would score his 23rd of the season to make it 5-4 with 1:21 left in regulation but it was too little, too late.
“It’s just perplexing how it all happened at once. Just a lot of things that we don’t typically do,” Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said in his postgame Zoom Call.
TURNING POINT: The three-goal outburst in 4:14 after Pastrnak’s goal stunned the Bruins and they simply never recovered.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mika Zibanejad. The Rangers sniper was a force to be reckoned with when it mattered most for his team in their final game of the regular season. He finished with two goals on six shots and made the Bruins focus on him every time he was on the ice. The game-winner was his 200th of his career.
Goal No. 2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 8, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 200 – As mentioned above, Pastrnak hit the 200-goal plateau with his 20th goal of the season early in the third period. He has 200 goals in 437 games in the NHL and the sky appears to be the limit for the affable Boston Bruins winger. Pastrnak is only the third active player in the NHL to score 200 regular-season goals and 20 playoff goals before the age of 25.
Chalk up another 20-goal season for David Pastrnak (@pastrnak96)!
Also the 200th goal of his career… 🍝
— NHL (@NHL) May 8, 2021
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Uncharacteristic of our team. … I think everyone can take their share of responsibility for the way we played in the third period. Completely surprised. Did not see this coming.” – Cassidy on the dismal defensive performance by his team.