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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Lose Third Period Battle To Wild

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Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

GOLD STAR: After being the story of the last meeting between the Bruins and Wild when Trent Frederic lowered the boom on him and injured him on a big hit against the side boards, Kirill Kaprizov went off against the B’s this time around. Kaprizov scored on a long-distance power play goal in the first period and then later in the same period scored again on a breakaway when he slipped behind Charlie McAvoy and Mike Reilly unnoticed. There were three great scoring chances for Kaprizov in the first period and he finished with the two goals in 16:04 of ice time with four shots on net, seven shot attempts, a hit, a takeaway and a blocked shot in a dominant game. He also got buried by Charlie McAvoy in the third period as things really elevated to a nasty level between Boston and Minnesota before the game was ultimately decided.

BLACK EYE: No shots on net, no hits in a nasty, physical game and very little engagement for Jake DeBrusk in one of the final few games ahead of the NHL trade deadline. He wasn’t the only one as David Pastrnak was completely missing in action for his 18 plus minutes of ice time as well, but DeBrusk is a guy that’s once again regressing back to the player he’s been for much of the last few years. DeBrusk now has one point in eight games during the month of March and isn’t exactly upping his value to any teams that might have been kicking tires on the speedy, skilled winger. On the second night of back-to-backs the night after an overtime win in Chicago, DeBrusk was definitely more of a passenger in a Minnesota game where things got heated.

TURNING POINT: Once again Derek Forbort was on the ice for a key goal allowed where the Boston Bruins were getting pushed around in the defensive zone, and this time it was a Jordan Greenway score on a rebound in the high slot as the Wild were peppering Jeremy Swayman with shots on net. It was a long shift for the Boston Bruins defending as Minny kept attacking in waves during the third period of a 2-2 game. Eventually Greenway found daylight and snapped one past Swayman on a hard-working hustle shift against Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk and Tomas Nosek playing in place of the injured Patrice Bergeron. Once Greenway scored midway through the third period, the Bruins were in trouble on the second night of road back-to-game games.

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HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand was doing his best to drag the Boston Bruins along, snapping an eight game goal-scoring drought with a power play snipe from the high slot area. It was a big goal tying things up in the second period as TNT showed on the national broadcast that Marchand was also consistently talking up the bench to keep everybody the game. Marchand was excellent all-around with six shots on net and eight shot attempts in 19:45 of ice time, but he was also part of the defensive breakdown in the third period when they couldn’t clear ahead of Minnesota’s game-winner. While it’s always going to be bad news with Boston Bruins fans when they lose, Marchand’s return to form after brief struggles is encouraging. It was also good to see Marchand mostly keep his goal in a game where things got heated, to the point where Matt Dumba horse-collared him from behind and dragged him down to the ice.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the number of fights Trent Frederic has had with the Minnesota Wild this season after dropping the gloves with Brandon Duhaime in a very entertaining heavyweight bout in the first period of Wednesday’s loss.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Unfortunately they were better than us in the third. Some of that is on us. We didn’t manage the puck as well as you need to when you’re playing the second night of back-to-backs against a hungry team. It obviously led to the third goal, which was a tough shift and that’s going to happen when you get pinned in your own end.” –Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on where things went wrong for the Black and Gold.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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