BOSTON - It was yet another battle, but the Bruins overcame a two-goal deficit and got the job done on Friday afternoon with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers at TD Garden. David Pastrnak netted his 24th of the season early in the third to tie the game and made a ridiculous play to feed David Krejci for the winner just under two minutes into the extra session.
"It felt pretty good. When we were going the energy was pretty good and we felt it on the bench," said Krejci, who has 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in his last 11 games. "I got the puck to Pasta and he made a good play on pretty much an open net…maybe we haven't been playing much with each other, but we will always know about each other on the ice.
"He is such a good dynamic player, he can draw three guys to him and other guys get open and that's exactly what happened on that goal."
The Bruins, donning their new blocked-B third sweaters for the first time, have now won six straight games and are riding a 10-game point streak (7-0-3). It is the B's second such stretch this season, making them just the third team in NHL history to have two point streaks of 10-plus games through their first 30 (or fewer) contests of the season.
"It feels great. I know our team is always going to eventually find their game," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "I think, lately, we've found ways to win because we've got good players. We're trying to get to that 60-minute game like everyone else in the National Hockey League…great to get the two points. I thought we certainly pushed in the third and overtime to do that. I'd just like to see it happen a little sooner."
Video: NYR@BOS: Krejci buries slick feed from Pastrnak in OT
More notes and observations from the overtime victory:
Another Day at the Office
It was another ho-hum afternoon for Pastrnak, who ripped home his 24th goal of the season 4:27 into the third period to tie the game, 2-2. The tally gave him his second consecutive 12-plus goal month to start 2019-20, making him just the fourth player in NHL history to reach those marks in each of the first two months of a season, per NHL PR.
The others: Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky. Pretty good company.
The tally also gave him 40 points for the season, making him and Brad Marchand (43 points) the fifth set of Bruins teammates to each collect 40 points through the first 26 games of the season. Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (in 1974-75) were the last to accomplish that feat.
"I was kind of upset [there was no call right before that], so I was a little yelling at the ref," Pastrnak said of his goal. "But then I saw [Jake DeBrusk] with the puck and Krech was wide open in the slot, so I just stayed there and got a good bounce and it bounced right on my stick…but it's a big goal for us."
Video: NYR@BOS: Pastrnak rifles quick goal from right circle
Pastrnak made an even prettier play on the overtime winner, as he surged through the neutral zone, before dancing around two Rangers defenders in the slot. The winger then got into space, turned, and delivered a perfect feed to a trailing Krejci, who buried it by a diving Henrik Lundqvist.
"I think he's known first as a guy with pace, a guy that's 1-on-1, a guy with a big shot, but I think it's out there now if you play him just to shoot, he'll make plays," said Cassidy. "He was by himself and he attacked the forward first. I think he knew it was a forward out there, so he went down at him first, and he was probably going to make his decision from there, which great players like David are going to make happen spontaneously.
"Once he got around, I think it was [Pavel] Buchnevich, then it was a matter of, is he going to shoot, is he attacking, is he in the clear? If not, I think he knows where Krech is going to go. That's where the relationship for those two comes in, where to throw it to on the ice because he had a pretty good idea of who was coming late so he wouldn't be at the back post, and it happened to work out."
Video: Pasta Reacts After Scoring 24th Goal in Win Over NYR
The Bruins received a huge boost from their penalty kill, as Boston staved off all six of the Rangers' attempts, including a 5-on-3 midway through the second and a four-minute high stick on Par Lindholm with just under eight minutes to play.
"Probably the difference, at the end of the day," said Cassidy. "We had enough [kills] again tonight. They scored as our guy was coming out of the box, so we didn't fully recover on the first one, but after that I thought we did a real good job of dictating where the shots were going to come from, and were able to get the clears once they did get their shot from the middle."
Boston's final kill was of the controversial variety as Lindholm was nabbed after a video review. No call was made on the ice, but after getting on the headset, the officials determined that Lindholm's stick caught Brendan Smith, despite some help from the stick of Rangers forward Boo Nieves.
"There was no call on the ice, that's frustrating," said Cassidy. "We were told they can only review calls, and then there is a call [after the fact]. We weren't great early on, didn't expect to get any calls in the first period. We didn't generate enough to get any calls. But usually as the game goes on, we pick up our game, I thought we could. At the end of the day they didn't go our way."
Video: Cassidy Addresses Media After 3-2 Win Over NYR
Finding A Groove
Sean Kuraly got the Bruins going with his second goal of the season after a strong play by DeBrusk (two assists) to wheel the zone and get the puck to the net. With Jack Studnicka and Kuraly planted in front, DeBrusk let a wrister fly from the top of the zone and Kuraly was there to tip it home and pull Boston within 2-1 with 1:32 left in the second. With a three-helper night in Montreal on Tuesday night also under his belt, Kuraly now has five points (goal, four assists) in his last three games.
"Definitely when you help contribute offensively it feels good, so I think just trying to stick with it regardless of stats, but hopefully it's a building block," said Kuraly.
Video: NYR@BOS: Kuraly nets redirection on shot by DeBrusk
Missing in Action
Early in the third period, Brad Marchand exited down the tunnel in a rage after slamming his stick over the boards. Following the game, Cassidy revealed that Marchand had been removed from the game by the concussion spotter for what they believed was a hit that happened at the end of the second. The timing left the Bruins puzzled.
"He gets hit at the end of the second period, and then they pull him at the start of the third," said Cassidy. "I thought it was fairly evident when he was hit, and then they decide to do it at the start of the third. That's the only explanation I got. I don't know why they wouldn't do it in between periods…there is an 18-minute intermission.
"He checked out fine. It's a little frustrating for him especially when it happened at the end of the second period, so I didn't like the timing of it at all."
Video: Pastrnak, Bruins rally to defeat Rangers in overtime