As seen on NESN --
Two young Bruins, Phil Kessel and David Krejci
, proved the heroes of last night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, as they helped the team to a dramatic 3-2 win when last-second goals by the ‘Canes in the third period forced a shootout.
“They’re skilled players and they capitalize when we need them the most, and that was obviously tonight in the shootout,” captain Zdeno Chara
told NESN after the game.
Kessel, who previously had seven shootout deciding goals, earned that title on the scoresheet again as he beat Carolina's Cam Ward with Boston's second shot.
But it was Krejci, the B’s third shooter of the night, who iced a win for the team with his goal, even though he has yet to score in regular play.
“This one’s pretty big, but it doesn’t count for me [in the standings], you know?” he said, laughing. “But it gave me confidence, so hopefully I’m going to bring it for other games.”
Asked what his strategy was going into his turn, Krejci kept his explanation simple.
“I was ready for the goalie to move, and he didn’t move,” Krejci said, “and I just put it in.”
A 2-0 lead for the Bruins turned into a 2-2 tie within the last minutes of the game after Carolina scored two goals within 20 seconds of each other.
“We get in trouble when we sit back and really try to preserve leads,” Andrew Ference
said in a foreshadowing statement between the second and third periods.
Some saw no reason to panic, even after losing the lead.
“We still had a point for overtime, and we went to shootout,” said Krejci. “We knew we had good shooters, so we went for it, and we won.”
Head coach Claude Julien was pleased with the team’s performance up until that point.
“[Carolina shoots] from everywhere, so that total amount of shots creeps up pretty quick, but we still did a great job,” he said. “I thought our team played a really good game for 59 minutes, and then we seemed to collapse at the end.”
The tight playoff race is creating desperate teams throughout the league, and Coach Julien said that the team’s scoring chances, although only two went in, were encouraging.
“We knew [Carolina was] going to come out hard,” he said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of coming at them and making sure that we didn’t sit back and just sit on the lead.
“The bottom line is that we had a couple of chances, and you bury one of those…it’s totally different.”
An explosive game from the very beginning, the first period saw two fights -- including one from another rookie.Milan Lucic
, who recently suffered a broken nose after a fall into the boards, participated in two bouts during the night, which earned him the team hardhat, a reward for a well-played, hard-nosed game.
“You don’t ever want to be shown up, so I had to get in there to stick up for myself,” Looch said, explaining his fight against the Hurricanes Wade Brookbank. “The second one, [Tim] Gleason just ran over [Marc Savard
], so I was sticking up for [him].”
The night was tense from start to finish, but the Black & Gold prevailed and came out with the all-important two points.
“The bottom line is that I think we really need to look at the win and how important it was for our team at this point in the season,” Coach Julien said. “You have to look at the positive, that we found a way to win.”