Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Bruins 2, Panthers 1 (OT) – Krug, Halak lift B’s in overtime

(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Panthers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

Box Score

HEADLINES:

Krug, Halak step up in OT: Boston might have to lick its wounds after a hard-fought divisional bout against the Panthers on Thursday night, but another two points secured in the standings will cure all ills — at least for tonight. A rocket off the stick of Torey Krug handed Boston a 2-1 victory over the Panthers at BB&T Center, with Krug’s one-time bomb capping things with just 52 seconds remaining in overtime. With the victory, Boston improves to 43-13-12 on the season, and maintain its nine-point lead over Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division. 

After posting a statement win over the Bolts on Tuesday, Thursday’s matchup in Sunrise had all the makings of a letdown showing — a thought validated after the Panthers landed the first eight shots on goal of the second period, culminating in an opening tally from Mackenzie Weegar at 6:55. 

An elbowing call against Evgenii Dadonov that knocked Brandon Carlo out of the game (more on that below) allowed Boston to counter later in the second, with Patrice Bergeron securing the equalizer at 11:00 in the period. 

After the third period could not determine the victor, both Boston and Florida traded chances for four minutes of 3v3 overtime, with Jaroslav Halak (32 saves) turning aside a breakaway bid from Aleksander Barkov 1:47 into the extra frame. Before Boston had to move on to the dreaded shootout, Krug ended things in dramatic fashion, taking a feed from David Pastrnak and rifling home his ninth goal of the season to close things out. 

Carlo knocked out of game, Kase dodges bullet: Even with another two points in hand, one could categorize this outing as a pyrrhic victory for the B’s — as they lost arguably their most dependable shutdown presence on the blue line in Carlo. Carlo had to exit the contest at 10:46 in the second period after getting tangled up with Dadonov in the corner — with the Panthers forward catching the B’s defenseman in the face with an elbow. 

Carlo was attended to on the ice by the B's training staff before eventually skating off under his own power, but he did not return for the remainder of the contest — with the B’s ruling him out in the third period due to an upper-body injury.

While the initial call on Dadonov was a five-minute major, the officials reviewed the call and only assessed a two-minute minor for elbowing — denying Boston of a full five-minute stretch on the man advantage. 

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We’re not breaking any new ground when we note that losing a player like Carlo, even for a short stretch, would be a brutal break for Boston — who has established himself as one of the anchors on the B’s third-ranked penalty kill and one of the top workhorses at all strengths. 

Bruins fans also held their breath midway through the first period, as Ondrej Kase had to exit the game after his right leg was caught by Dadonov in what seemed like an incidental, if not unlucky, sequence. 

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Given Kase’s extensive history and the general optics of the play, many feared the worst when the winger needed to exit the game. But Kase did return just a few minutes later, testing out his leg during a TV timeout before returning to game action. He played the remainder of the contest — landing two shots on goal in 12:21 of ice time. 

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