Bruins edge Predators via shootout
The Boston Bruins refocused their thoughts and effort with a couple of hard practices after a humiliating loss. It paid off with an emotional victory.
Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron scored shootout goals to lift the Bruins to a 4-3 comeback win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
Coming off its largest loss in nearly four years, Boston forced overtime when Milan Lucic scored a power-play goal with 67 seconds left in regulation after goalie Tim Thomas was pulled for an extra skater.
The Bruins won it with a pair of goals in the shootout against Pekka Rinne, who had a solid game.
”We had a couple of good days in practice and it was hardworking,” forward Brad Marchand said. ”It reminded us again how we have to play.”
Daniel Paille and Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who had lost seven of 12.
”It would have been a shame after all that effort,” Boston coach Claude Julien said.
Thomas stopped 19 shots in regulation, and then turned aside Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat in the shootout.
Mike Fisher, Shea Weber and Patric Hornqvist scored for Nashville, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Rinne, who had won 20 of 24 games, made 38 saves through overtime.
Predators coach Barry Trotz thought his team looked more worried about how the Bruins would play instead of themselves.
”I knew Boston was going to come with a desperate game after last game,” he said. ”As I said after the game, `I want you to respect your opponent, but don’t give them too much respect because then you don’t play with the confidence and conviction that you need.”’
In the shootout, Seguin shifted a few times before lifting a backhander over Rinne’s right pad. Bergeron then slipped a shot between the goalie’s legs for Boston’s second goal in three attempts in the tiebreaker.
The Bruins rebounded from a 6-0 loss at Buffalo on Wednesday, their worst defeat since being beaten by Toronto 8-2 in March 2008. Boston had also lost two straight at home.
”It’s our job to build off this,” Thomas said. ”I think we played a much better game and we found a way to win again.”
Fisher’s goal had given Nashville a 3-2 lead with 3:32 left in regulation, but Lucic tied it by scoring off a rebound when he slipped a backhander just past the diving Rinne.
Fisher came charging down the left wing, circled the net, and lost the puck briefly before slipping it under Thomas.
The Predators, outshot 41-22, went long stretches without getting the puck out of their end.
”That was a terrible game for us,” Predators defenseman Ryan Suter said. ”Second period we looked like a minor hockey team. The second half of the second period we started to play a little bit better and we were very fortunate to get one point.”
Marchand’s wrist shot from the left circle hit the top of the crossbar and caromed out of play with 15.2 seconds left for the best chance in overtime.
Boston had taken a 2-1 lead on Paille’s goal early in the third before Hornqvist tied it at 9:33. Kostitsyn shifted around defenseman Andrew Ference and fired a pass to Hornqvist in front of the net. Rinne also earned an assist.
Paille’s goal came off a nice backhand feed from Shawn Thornton, who battled for the puck along the boards behind the net. Paille cut in front and slipped a backhander past Rinne 2:55 into the period for his first goal in 10 games.
Kevin Klein clanged a slap shot off the post to Thomas’ left a few minutes after Paille’s goal.
Boston, which dominated play from the middle of the first until intermission, grabbed a 1-0 lead on Bergeron’s short-handed score after a solid effort by Marchand. With Nashville struggling on the power play recently, because teams were attacking its point players, Marchand got to a loose puck at center ice, tried to split a pair of defensemen, lost the puck briefly before regaining it along the right boards. He fired a pass to Bergeron, who one-timed a shot past Rinne at 16 minutes for his first goal in seven games.
The Bruins held Nashville to one shot over the final 9 1/2 minutes of the opening period, and that drive came from center ice.
Nashville tied it on Weber’s power-play goal 7:32 into the second. Suter sent a cross-ice pass from the right point to left, where Weber one-timed a blast by Thomas.
NOTES: It was the only meeting of the season between the teams. … Bruins forward Nathan Horton missed his seventh straight game because of a concussion. … Boston hadn’t lost three straight at home since November of last season. … Erat entered the game with 19 points in 17 games. … The Bruins will host the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers Tuesday before going on a six-game trip. … The Predators had allowed 17 goals in five games. … Paille scored his ninth goal. He had 10 last season.