Tonight the Bruins took on the Nashville Predators who have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season and for the most part fans were not disappointed. Outside of a few minutes here and there the Bruins seemed to be in controle of the game and their offense was finally able to win them a game when the defense was less then stellar. Tonight Rask was nowhere close to his Vezina form and he has not looked like the same player as last year and again allowed some soft goals which allowed Nashville to hang in there until the very end.
The First period started out good as the Bruins played well in all three zones leading to the first goal of the game. Good back checking by Bergeron and Marchand led to a Preds turnover in their own zone which Marchand put in the back of the net just over two minutes into the game. Unfortunately the defense was not on top of its game and just over five minutes later the Preds tied the game up on a goal from Collin Wilson. The Bruins then started to push the pace once again and while on the power play took the lead on a goal from David Krejci just over two minutes after the game was tied up. Then once again the game would be tied up just under two minutes later on a shot Rask should have easily saved squeaks by him off the stick of Calle Jarnkrok. So at the end of the period the game was tied at two but the Bruins held a 10-7 shot advantage and were in controle of the game for most of the period so it felt like they were still in the lead when the second period started.
The Second period was the turning point of the game. Nashville has allowed the fewest goal in the second period goals in the NHL this season so the Bruins had to be on top of their game if they didn't want to let this game slip away and they did everything they could. Just under six minutes into the period the Bruins had a three on two break out and the puck found its way to Loui Eriksson and he put it in the back of the net to give the Bruins the lead at 3-2. Then just five minutes later after some good zone time a point shot from Kevin Miller was tipped by Bergeron and went right to the stick of Brad Marchand who scored his second goal of the game. At the end of the second period the Bruins had a 4-2 lead but most surprisingly only 8 total shots were taken in the period. With Rask clearly fighting the puck only having to stop three shots was probably the best Christmas present he's got in a while.
With the 4-2 lead the Bruins did not come out in the third period with the same intensity as they did in the first two and it led to the Preds gaining momentum. That momentum was capitalized on just under seven minutes into the period as Taylor Beck got a puck that was tipped away from Chara and had a clear shot with only Rask to beat. The shot was not anything special but on a night where Rask clearly was not on top of his game it found a way by him to cut the Bruins lead down to one. Fortunately for the Bruins they were able to keep the Preds from scoring again and finished the game off with an empty net goal from Loui Eriksson his second of the game and 9th on the year. The biggest stat in the Bruins favor was the faceoffs which they dominated winning 40 out of 64 which allowed them to controle the puck and controle the play.
The Bruins have now won back to back games for the first time in about a month and now fully healthy the winning ways should continue. The Bruins will be off for Christmas and will not be back on the ice until Friday against the Blue Jackets who are 8-1-1 in their last ten games with several players returning to the lineup. The Bruins will have to iron out some wrinkles in practice before then if they want to keep the winning streak going. I have said this several times but I'm going to keep saying it u too it happens when is Loui going to be moved to the first line? Moving him up would provide a solid proven top six and allow the younger players like Griffith Cunningham or Pastrnak to learn the NHL game against less talented opposition. I could go on and on about roster tweaks but that is for a different article so as always keep checking back here for all of the news and updates on your favorite Boston teams.