BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
GOLD STAR: Taylor Hall seemed like he had an extra gear throughout the game, so it’s no coincidence that he ended up as one of the offensive stars for the Boston Bruins. Hall finished with a secondary assist on Boston’s first goal when he found an open David Pastrnak just as he was slicing down the heart of the Florida defense before backhanding a dish off to Erik Haula for a one-timer. Then six seconds later Haula won the faceoff to Pastrnak, who hit Hall in stride heading down the slot for a buried wrist shot for his 19th goal of the season. In all Hall finished with a goal, two points, a plus-2 in 17:47 of ice time to go along with five shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in a solid night’s work.
BLACK EYE: Jonathan Huberdeau was a potential Hart Trophy candidate for most of this season, but he was dreadful against the Boston Bruins. He finished a minus-2 with one shot on net, three giveaways and was a non-factor in 19:44 of ice time for the Panthers. He wasn’t along, obviously, as Patric Hornqvist was a no-show for the Panthers, and Aleksander Barkov was a minus-2 while losing more than he won in the face-off circle. Even Joe Thornton couldn’t muster up much, in what’s likely his final game at TD Garden, aside from a half-hearted shoving match with Tomas Nosek early in the game. As Bruce Cassidy said postgame, it didn’t look like the Panthers had their usual jump on this night.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins could have been rattled when they allowed another last-minute goal with literally less than a second to go on the clock at the end of the first period. The late goal made it a 2-2 game going into the first intermission and things certainly could have taken a turn for the Black and Gold. Instead, they got back to work and struck for another goal in the first five minutes of the second period when Brad Marchand fired a rocket at the Florida net that Sergei Bobrovsky was able to stop, but Jake DeBrusk crashed the net and snapped home the rebound. The play gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead in the game and gave them back the momentum in a game they truly dominated from a 5-on-5 perspective.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand has shown signs he was coming out of his recent struggles in the last few games, and really snapped out of it on Tuesday by scoring an empty netter than snapped an 11-game goal-scoring drought. He also assisted on Boston’s game-winning goal when he fired a long-distance rocket that handcuffed Sergei Bobrovsky into a big rebound with Jake DeBrusk bearing down on the net. Marchand finished with 20 minutes of ice time, a goal, two points, five shots on net and three big hits in a game where he brought energy and offense to the table. It’s reassuring to the Bruins to see Marchand and Patrice Bergeron playing with this kind of energy this late into the season. This hit on Patric Hornqvist was a beauty.
Brad Marchand with a heavy hit on Patric Hornqvist. pic.twitter.com/RwY1Z0AA03
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 27, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: 11 – the number of the goal-scoring drought that Brad Marchand finally snapped when he scored on an empty netter in the closing seconds of Tuesday night’s win.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Special teams, power play…that’s definitely an area we want to get fixed. It’s been a struggle point for us. The confidence just isn’t there. We need a couple of practices to get things in order.” –Taylor Hall on a Boston Bruins power play that’s now 0-for-36 and hasn’t scored since the opening days of April.