BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night at TD Garden.
GOLD STAR: Andrei Vasilevskiy was stellar for the Tampa Bay Lightning stopping 37 shots on the way to the Bolts taking the overtime decision. Vasilevskiy was solid throughout the game and then made arguably the biggest play on the sequence leading to Steve Stamkos’ game-winner when he stuffed David Pastrnak on a breakaway attempt leading to the Stammer Hammer at the other end. Vasilevskiy made 15 saves in the second period and then stood tall for the Lightning when their whole team went into hiding for the first 12 or 13 minutes of the third period, and that’s what makes Tampa Bay so dangerous. Even when you get through their talented roster of players, there’s still the overstuffed Russian goaltender ready to stone your bids at the net.
BLACK EYE: Everyone is raving about how energized Taylor Hall has looked skating with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. There’s no doubt he looked more engaged and was in the middle of more offensive chances. But it’s to the point that some are actually wondering whether Brad Marchand should play somewhere else when he returns. Yeah, right. How great is Hall actually playing when he’s got just one assist and is a minus-2 in his last five games? Hall had four shots on net and a couple of great chances on Saturday night, but he didn’t bury any of them. And he had has many giveaways (four) as he did shots on net for the game. No offense to those ardent members of the Taylor Hall Fan Club, but the numbers don’t match up with the raves. What the Boston Bruins need to do is find a second line center for Hall that can energize his game rather than start messing with the Perfection Line.
TURNING POINT: It was obviously the overtime when Andrei Vasilevskiy denied David Pastrnak at one end, and that led to Steve Stamkos having time and space to wind up and blast away at Jeremy Swayman at the other end. The Lightning picked up the game-winning goal in overtime, and the Bruins got the one point for their efforts in a game where it was uphill climbing almost from the very beginning.
HONORABLE MENTION: It sure looks like the Boston Bruins are onto something with Erik Haula playing the wing rather than center. Haula has stepped up his offensive production in the three games that he’s moved to wing during Brad Marchand’s suspension and uncorked a sweet no-look, behind-the-legs pass to Charlie Coyle for the B’s first goal of the game on Saturday night. Just look at this beauty.
Today is the day that Erik Haula officially became a Boston Bruin. Sick feed. Great hands, awareness and execution pic.twitter.com/WVCLm4Vm4h
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 5, 2021
Haula now has two points in his last two games and added three shots on net, three hits and 4-of-7 faceoff wins in 16:42 of ice time during the victory. Haula seems to finally be finding his groove with the Black and Gold, and it’s at left wing after a rough start in the middle.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of David Pastrnak shots that missed the net out of his 12 attempts in Saturday night’s game. Included in that number was a pair of posts for No. 88 during the game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Getting that point is big. Obviously, we would have liked two [points], but I thought with the ups and downs of the game that we kept on fighting. We played a lot of good hockey out there. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way [in OT], but there was definitely a lot of stuff to build off of.” –Curtis Lazar on salvaging a point after falling down by two goals to Tampa without two of their best players.