BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from a hard-earned 2-1 win for the Boston Bruins over the Ottawa Senators to extend their win streak to four games.
GOLD STAR: I’ll be the first to admit this puck scribe has not had him as our Gold Star not nearly enough, but maybe that’s because I, like so many Bruins fans and the team itself, have become so accustomed to the brilliance that has been Linus Ullmark this season. The runaway front-runner for the Vezina Trophy delivered another gem between the pipes with a 40-save performance. After allowing a Dylan Gambrell 8:55 into the game, Ullmark was lights out. He stopped 36 of 37 shots from the Ottawa Senators in the first two periods as the Sens poured it on, fighting for their playoff lives. Then after facing just two shots in the third period, Ullmark stopped Senators forward Drake Batherson point-blank at the buzzer to preserve the 2-1 win. One week after his worst game of the season, it appears Ullmark is back in his zone and poised for a long playoff run.
BLACK EYE: Not much to complain about when it comes to the Boston Bruins on the ice in this one, so we’ll give the Black Eye to the news they delivered earlier in the day. Following the team’s game-day skate on Tuesday, head coach Jim Montgomery delivered the news that shot-blocking machine Derek Forbot – who is beloved by his teammates – will be out for the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury. Thankfully, the Bruins now have the luxury of being able to compensate for a long-term injury after acquiring Dmitry Orlov a week before the NHL Trade Deadline. However, Forbort’s shutdown presence will still be missed until he returns.
TURNING POINT: Trailing 1-0 just over halfway through the first period, Montgomery called a timeout to get what to that point seemed like a sleepy Bruins team. That seemed to wake the Boston Bruins up in a hurry. David Krejci potted his 15th of the season on the powerplay at 11:53, and then 4:21 later, Jake DeBrusk scored his third goal in as many games at 15:52 of the opening frame. That was all Ullmark needed as he shut the door from there.
HONORABLE MENTION: The chances are slim and rare that a team has two players finish in the top 5 for the Norris Trophy voting, but this puck scribe would definitely have Charlie McAvoy in the Top 3, and Lindholm probably at fourth in the voting. Lindholm had another tremendous two-way game and finished with two assists and one blocked shot. He now has ten goals and 38 assists and continues to be one of Don Sweeney’s best trade acquisitions as the Boston Bruins general manager.
BY THE NUMBERS: 31-1-1 – The Boston Bruins’ record when leading after the first period.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He was outstanding. He needed to be.” – Montgomery on another Vezina-worthy performance from Ullmark.