Jake DeBrusk’s scoring streak continued Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena as the Boston Bruins forward notched a pair of goals– including the game-winning goal 33 seconds into overtime to lift the B’s over the Seattle Kraken, 3-2.
DeBrusk now has four goals in his last three games and the Bruins have put together a little three-game win streak as a result.
Linus Ullmark (17-8-1, 2.76 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in 27 games played) made 25 saves on 27 shots against in the win for Boston.
Kraken goaltender, Philipp Grubauer (12-22-5, 3.17 goals-against average, .888 save percentage in 40 games played) stopped 36 out of 39 shots faced in the overtime loss.
The Bruins improved to 30-17-4 (64 points) overall and remain in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, but moved to within one point of overtaking the Washington Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Seattle, meanwhile, fell to 16-33-5 (37 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division, as well as 30th overall in the entire National Hockey League– six points ahead of the 31st place Montréal Canadiens and seven points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes from the basement of the league standings.
The B’s improved to 2-0-0 all-time against the Kraken in Seattle’s inaugural season and won’t see them again until the 2022-23 regular season calendar.
After winning, 5-1, on home ice against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, the Bruins hit the road for Seattle in the middle of the week– practicing in the NHL’s newest market on Wednesday before taking part in their first of six road matchups on Thursday.
Boston was without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed) against the Kraken as Zboril remains out for the rest of the season and Vaakanainen did not travel with the team to Seattle.
Meanwhile, Brad Marchand returned from his six-game suspension– joining the Bruins ahead of the game on Thursday a day behind the rest of his teammates as he and his wife brought home their new baby daughter.
Congrats to the Marchand’s on welcoming a newborn!
Jack Ahcan and Jesper Frödén were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Wednesday, while Jack Studnicka was reassigned to the P-Bruins. Neither Ahcan, nor Frödén were in the lineup Thursday night.
B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, welcomed the return of Marchand to the first line left wing alongside Patrice Bergeron, while promoting DeBrusk to the first line right wing.
Erik Haula was back centering the second line with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak on his wings as a result of Marchand’s return.
Cassidy left the third line intact and slid Nick Foligno to the fourth line left wing slot with Tomáš Nosek at center and Curtis Lazar on right wing.
On defnse, Mike Reilly suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing with Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo rounding out the top-four pairings while Derek Forbort was partnered with Connor Clifton.
Anton Blidh joined Frödén and Ahcan in the press box as Boston’s trio of healthy scratches while Zboril and Vaakanainen remain out due to injury on Thursday.
Kraken captain, Mark Giordano, tripped up Charlie Coyle 20 seconds into the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on their first skater advantage of the night– nor could Boston take control of the scoreboard when– about a minute later– Adam Larsson caught Hall with a high stick at 1:42.
Larsson was assessed a four-minute double minor as Hall was left bloodied, but despite 38 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage and an extended 5-on-4 power play, the B’s couldn’t muster anything past Grubauer just yet.
Instead, Giordano was freed from the box and received a pass from Riley Sheahan after Jamie Oleksiak blocked a shot in the defensive zone.
The Kraken defender skated in as the Bruins made a poorly timed line change and waltzed to the slot unopposed before Giordano (6) wired a shot past Ullmark to give Seattle a, 1-0, lead on his second shorthanded goal of the season.
In the process, Giordano became the third defender 38 or older to record at least two shorthanded goals in a season, joining Zdeno Chara (two in 2016-17) and Ray Bourque (two in 2000-01) in doing so.
Sheahan (8) and Oleksiak (11) tallied the assists on Giordano’s shorthanded goal at 3:29 of the first period.
Several minutes later, Alex Wennberg intended to avoid a surefire collision in the neutral zone with McAvoy and instead took the Boston defender’s helmet off with the blade of his stick– narrowly avoiding McAvoy’s eyes– as Wennberg tried to wield it away from McAvoy’s body to avoid a trip.
Thus, after a brief stoppage for the Bruins No. 1 defender to skate off the ice and get checked out down the tunnel for a minute, Wennberg sat in the penalty box for a pair of minutes at 9:02.
Boston still didn’t score on the resulting power play, though.
Minutes later, McAvoy was back and caught Jordan Eberle with an errant stick of his own– cutting a rut to the sin bin and presenting the Kraken with a power play at 12:00.
Boston’s penalty kill stood tall as Seattle’s skater advantage came and went.
Larsson then went back into the box for interference at 15:24 after he delivered a check on Hall without the puck.
Seconds after the power play ended, the Bruins caught the Kraken in the vulnerable minute after special teams play.
Haula chipped the puck over the back of the net, while former Bruins defender turned Seattle expansion draft pick, Jeremy Lauzon, tried to bat the puck out of mid-air and clear of the crease.
Instead, the rubber biscuit dropped to the goal line where DeBrusk (10) settled for an easy tap-in goal– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
Haula (13) and Craig Smith (11) notched the assists as Boston pulled even at 17:33 of the first period with momentum on their side heading into the first intermission.
After one period, the Bruins and Kraken were tied, 1-1, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 17-8.
Seattle held the advantage in blocked shots (7-1) and takeaways (4-1), while the B’s led in giveaways (3-1), hits (6-3) and faceoff win percentage (68-32).
The Kraken were 0/1 and the Bruins were 0/5 on the power play heading into the first intermission.
Nosek kicked things off in the second period with a high sticking infraction against former Bruin, Austin Czarnik, at 2:41.
Seattle wasn’t able to convert on the resulting power play, however.
Moments after making the kill, Boston won an attacking zone faceoff back to the point where Grzelcyk slid the puck along the blue line to McAvoy for a pass through the high slot to Pastrnak (28) for a one-timer goal on Grubauer’s blocker side at 6:47.
McAvoy (24) and Grzelcyk (16) recorded the assists as the Bruins took their first lead of the night, 2-1, as a result.
A few minutes past the midpoint of the action, however, Boston made another bad line change that cost them.
This time, Marcus Johansson entered the attacking zone on a 2-on-1 that quickly became a de facto 2-on-0 with a pass across the ice to Eberle (15) for the slick move to the backhand while crashing the net before elevating the rubber biscuit on Ullmark’s blocker side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.
Johansson (13) and Calle Järnkrok (12) had the assists as the Kraken evened things up at 13:19 of the second period.
A few minutes later, Nosek was back in the penalty box for catching Järnkrok with a high stick at 16:19, but Seattle couldn’t get another puck past Ullmark as the B’s made the kill and entered the second intermission tied with the Kraken on the scoreboard, 2-2.
Boston continued to hold the advantage in total shots on goal, 31-18, while also outshooting Seattle, 14-10, in the second period alone.
The Kraken led in blocked shots (10-8) and takeaways (7-4) after two periods, while the Bruins held the advantage in giveaways (4-3), hits (13-10) and faceoff win% (67-33) through 40 minutes.
As there were no penalties called for the rest of the night, Seattle finished the action 0/3 on the power play, while Boston went 0/5 on the skater advantage.
There were no goals and no penalties in the third period as the two teams swapped chances.
Seattle actually outshot Boston, 9-7, in the third period alone, but the Bruins continued to leading in total shots on goal, 38-27, heading into the extra frame.
The Kraken led in blocked shots (12-9), takeaways (10-6) and giveaways (6-4), while the B’s held the advantage in hits (19-18) and faceoff win% (60-40).
Heading into overtime, Cassidy sent out Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy. Seattle’s head coach, Dave Hakstol, countered with Johansson, Eberle and Giordano.
The extra frame did not last long as Boston worked the puck through the neutral zone to DeBrusk with speed entering the attacking zone.
DeBrusk (11) drove right to the net and sent a shot past Grubauer on the short side underneath the blocker to give the Bruins the, 3-2, victory on his second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime.
Coyle (13) and McAvoy (25) had the assists as Boston left Climate Pledge Arena with a win in their debut in the league’s newest market.
The Bruins improved to 4-2 in overtime this season, while the Kraken fell to 1-4.
Boston left the ice leading in shots on goal, 39-27– including a, 1-0, advantage in overtime alone– as well as the advantage in hits (19-18) and faceoff win% (61-39).
Seattle exited their own building leading in blocked shots (12-9) and giveaways (6-4).
The Bruins improved to 10-10-3 (4-4-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 8-5-1 (5-2-1 on the road) when tied after one period and 6-3-0 (1-2-0 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.
Seattle fell to 8-8-2 (3-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 6-7-5 (3-3-3 at home) when tied after the first period and 7-5-3 (3-3-2 at home) when tied after the second period in 2021-22.
Boston continues their six game road trip (1-0-0) Saturday night in San Jose before venturing to Los Angeles next Monday to wrap up the month of February and kick off March next Tuesday in Anaheim.
The Bruins then swing through Vegas next Thursday and Columbus next Saturday before returning home to host the Kings on March 7th.