The Boston Bruins took on the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday and suffered their first shootout loss of the season. In Bruce Boudreau’s second game as Vancouver Canucks head coach, he continued his undefeated streak with a 2-1 win over the B’s.
Brad Marchand returned from his three-game suspension and played the team he got suspended against. The game was chippy from start to finish and there were lots of hits and penalties in this one.
The first period was highly defensive on both sides. Despite only 16 total shots going on the net, 39 shots were attempted and 11 different players had their shot blocked. Travis Hamonic and Charlie McAvoy had their shots blocked twice and 13 different players blocked a shot that period.
The second period had a lot more action with many odd-man rushes. However, the box score showed similar trends in terms of shots on goal and shots attempted. 39 shots were attempted, the same amount as the first, and 11 were blocked, including two each from Travis Hamonic. Although attempted almost 40 shots again, only 17 shots actually became credited as shots on goal.
Erik Haula thought he scored on a breakaway, but after reviewing the play, it was ruled offsides. Marchand took a costly penalty in his first game back. With about five minutes left in the period, Marchand interfered with Jason Dickinson and went to the penalty box. The Canucks broke the scoreless tie on the power play gifted by the Marchand penalty. Brock Boeser deflected a JT Miller shot from the point that slipped past Jeremy Swayman.
In the third period, Taylor Hall had a chance to score on a one-timer set up by Nick Foligno, but he whiffed on it. It would’ve been his sixth goal and his first since Nov. 24 at the Sabres. Luke Schenn also saved a goal by swiping at it inches before it crossed the red line in the net. JT Miller took a bone-headed penalty in the third period when he skated by Swayman and tripped him, leading to an interference penalty and a 5-on-3 for the B’s. The Bruins, like the Canucks, scored their first goal on the power play with a deflection. Patrice Bergeron redirected a David Pastrnak slap shot for his fourth power play goal, tied with Pastrnak for the most on the team.
The Bruins had one of their best defensive performances of the season despite losing. A good example for how good their defense had been would be Jason Dickinson, who had missed four of his shots and only registered two shots on goal. The Bruins blocked 19 shots to the Canucks’ 15 and also outhit Vancouver 35-32.
Patrice Bergeron played well in spite of not receiving any of the three stars of the game. He notched a season-high nine shots on goal, a feat he hasn’t reached since Dec. 16, 2017. That loss in 2017 also ended out of regulation, but instead ended in overtime at TD Garden.
Hall has really struggled when he’s needed to step up as a top-six forward. Hall has just one goal and as many points in games outside of the division. His five goals and 11 points in 22 games this year us underwhelming. Last season, he had three more goals and points in six less games for the Bruins last year. This game, he didn’t even register a shot and whiffed on a one-timer chance.
Jeremy Swayman had a great performance in net even though he let in two out of three shots in the shootout. Swayman posted a .969 save percentage and only gave up one goal in 65 minutes of play. The 23-year-old currently has a .918 save percentage, 2.26 GAA, one shutout and a 7-4-1 record.
Thatcher Demko also played well in his win. On his birthday, Demko saved 35-of-36 shots, netting a .972 save percentage. The fellow young American has a .912 save percentage, 2.82 GAA, one shutout, 9-11-1 record and has won four of his last five games.
After their first 20 games of the season, the Bruins didn’t lose a single game in overtime or shootout. Now, they have lost two consecutive games out of regulation, but luckily still remain on a three-game point streak. They’ll hope to bounce back against the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow at 9 p.m. EST. They’ll be in the second game of their three-game road trip in Western Canada at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB.
(Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)