There was undoubtedly a Stanley Cup playoff feel to Wednesday night’s Boston Bruins defeat at the hands of a surly Minnesota Wild bunch, and that was both a good and a bad thing.
Brad Marchand snapped an eight-game goal-scoring dry spell and Trent Frederic dropped the gloves for one of the best fights of the season in the Boston Bruins’ eventual 4-2 defeat the Excel Energy Center, a valiant effort with Patrice Bergeron out due to an upper body injury.
But there were also a few too similarities to last spring’s playoff series against the Islanders where Minnesota’s energy line did damage, Kirill Kaprizov dominated with a pair of goals in an electric performance, Charlie McAvoy (5 shots on net, 5 blocked shots and five hits) was forced to do everything in his 22 minutes of action and once again the B’s were pushed around in the defensive zone when it mattered most in the third period.
Minnesota’s gargantuan 6-foot-6, 231-pound forward Jordan Greenway provided the game-winner midway through the third period after Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton were hemmed into the defensive zone amidst an all-out melee for the puck around the net.
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It’s something we’ve seen happen a little too much lately with Boston’s shutdown personnel on the ice where they simply can’t do the job in a heated, late game situation. It’s the exact same issue we’ve seen pop up in the closing minutes of the third periods in recent weeks when Boston has been surrendering game-tying or go-ahead goals at the worst time.