The day after a 5-4 overtime victory over the LA Kings, the Boston Bruins were right back on the grind Sunday with a second-straight afternoon game, this time hosting the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden for a 3pm start.
Goal 29 for No. 29
For the majority of the period both teams battled for the opening goal, each receiving man-advantages for a chance to break through 5-on-4. Less than half way through the first, Danton Heinen was called for hi-sticking on Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson. The Avs would fail to convert on the ensuing power play.
With 3:41 left in the period, Heinen would then draw a call on Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog for tripping. The Boston power play would be cut short when Torey Krug took a hooking penalty in front of the Bruins' net to prevent a Matt Calvert scoring opportunity short handed.
The two clubs would play 4-on-4 before Colorado was handed over a minute of run-over PP time. As the penalty to Krug was expiring, Nathan MacKinnon would spin off Brandon Carlo in the left corner before firing a bad-angle shot top-shelf on Jaroslav Halak to give his team a lead heading into intermission with 32 seconds left on the clock.
It wouldn't take long into the second period for the Bruins to even up the score. Just 3:40 into the second frame John Moore would fire a wrist shot off the far post and in behind goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
The Bruins would get a chance to take the lead when Mackinnon was called for holding on Sean Kuraly followed 1:27 later by an egregious interference penalty by former Bruin Carl Soderberg on Charlie McAvoy.
Despite a few close calls, Boston would be unable to extend the lead on the man-advantage. The following minutes would feature aggressive play from a Colorado Avalanche squad looking to regain their first period lead.
Halak would hold steady, and it would look for a moment that the Bruins had actually taken a 2-1 lead when a wild dump-in hit the curved glass at the end of the Boston bench (which is ruled out of play) and ricocheted on net and past an unsuspecting Varlamov.
The score would remain 1-1 however heading into the final twenty minutes after the ruling was explained to a disappointed Boston crowd.
Grinding Out Two Points
Neither team would budge an inch in the third period as penalties on both sides failed to result in a change in score. Colorado would narrowly outshoot Boston 10-9 in the third period, but both netminders stood tall.
So naturally, the Bruins and Avalanche would head to overtime. This would mark the fifth time in seven games that the Black and Gold would reach extra time, and it took nearly the entire five minute period to determine Sunday afternoon's winner.
With just 57 seconds left in OT Brad Marchand would throw a seemingly routine wrist shot on net through traffic. The puck would redirect off the skate of Calvert in front, beating Varlamov to end the game, propelling Boston out of the first wild card seed and past Montreal into third place in the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins host the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night at TD Garden before heading out on their California road trip that also makes stops in Vegas and St. Louis before returning home to face the San Jose Sharks on February 26th. Puck drop for Tuesday's game is set for 7pm EST.
Photo: (Boston Bruins via Twitter)