Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT) – Krejci & DeBrusk dominate with Johansson sidelined, B’s point streak continues

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis…

Box Score

HEADLINES

B’s lose Marcus Johansson to injury: He’s yet to light the lamp so far with his new club, but Marcus Johansson was looking like quite the add on a top-six group alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. But the speedy winger exited Tuesday’s contest after logging just 59 seconds of TOI  in the opening stanza, heading down the tunnel in plenty of pain after colliding with Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland.

Johansson, who has a long history when it comes to injuries, was down on the ice for about a minute before eventually getting back on his skates and making his way back to Boston’s bench. The team announced during the first intermission that Johansson would miss the rest of the game due to an upper-body injury.

While Bruce Cassidy did note postgame that some of the news was “encouraging” in regards to Johansson, he’ll have a better update on Wednesday. Regardless of a recovery timetable, it’s still a tough blow for both Johansson and the team — who have only been able to slot him in four games since trading for him at the deadline. During his time up with Krejci and DeBrusk, that line has plus-13 edge in attempts in 35:58 of 5v5 TOI together. Pretty good stuff from Johansson, who, if healthy, would also give Boston an effective third-line option to pair with Charlie Coyle once David Pastrnak is given a clean bill of health. 

Krejci & DeBrusk keep on rolling: Losing Johansson is a tough hit, but if No. 46 and No. 74 continue to play like this, they might be able to hold steady even with — say — Karson Kuhlman getting another top-six promotion. I could just include the highlight of Krejci’s OT goal and DeBrusk's primary helper to close out a 4-3 win for Boston (we’ll get to that later), but their great play stretches far beyond those final 10 seconds of the last stanza.

While primarily matched up against Jordan Staal’s line — and with a rotating cast of right wingers following Johansson’s injury — both DeBrusk and Krejci still managed to generate a plus-6 edge in shot attempts and a plus-4 advantage in shots on goal during 13:43 of 5v5 TOI together — while also generating a 5v5 goal in the second period.

With the big guns like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand continuing to roll (shorthanded goal on Tuesday) and regular contributions from the fourth line (Chris Wagner burying his 10th goal of the season), Boston still might have enough firepower to keep afloat even if Johansson is sidelined for a bit — a testament to the strides made by guys like DeBrusk, who is now on pace to flirt with a 30-goal campaign in his second full season.

FOUR UP

Jake DeBrusk: The Krejci line took a hit with Johansson’s exit, but DeBrusk’s torrid stretch in the offensive zone once again kept Boston rolling — with the winger burying his eighth goal in his last 10 games off of a great feed from Krejci in the second period. With his pivot operating at such a high level, an aggressive DeBrusk that’s driving to the net is set to be rewarded on a regular basis. He’s certainly cashing in — while also generating offense on his own, as evidenced by that takeaway from Justin Faulk in overtime.

Brandon Carlo: Brandon Carlo — offensive maestro from the blue line? Alright, probably not, but the 22-year-old defenseman continues to look more and more comfortable handling the puck in the O-zone. Along with logging a team-high 26:19 TOI during Tuesday’s win, Carlo also landed a career-high nine shots on goal, with one attempt leading to Wagner’s tally at 12:28 in the second.

David Krejci: Another two points for Krejci, who’s well on his way to his first 70-point campaign since the 2008-09 season. If he keeps setting up scoring chances like this, it seems like a certainty for the veteran forward.

Brad Marchand: Along with setting up Bergeron’s shorthanded goal, Marchand logged an impressive 4:23 of TOI on the PK, nearly scoring a shorty of his own while serving as the main pest on a unit that held Carolina to zero goals on five power plays.

TWO DOWN

Peter Cehlarik: After getting benched in his last outing, a bit of a so-so showing from Cehlarik on Tuesday — landing just one shot on goal in 11:04 TOI.

Charlie Coyle: Coyle was out for an even 9-9 split in scoring chances, but was also out for a goal against while only winning two of his nine chances at the faceoff dot. A bit of an off night for the East Weymouth native.

PLAY OF THE GAME

Ballgame.

PARTING THOUGHT

It’s always pretty cool to see those vintage Hartford Whalers sweaters back out there on the ice.

*whispers* just don’t tell that to anyone back in Hartford.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Bruins will continue their six-game homestand with a matchup against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. The Panthers currently sit out of the playoff picture with a 28-26-12 record, but Florida always tends to play Boston tough — while Frank Vatrano (20 goals) will be looking to stick it to his former club in the matchup.