By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The writing was on the wall at the halfway mark of Tuesday’s head-to-head between the Boston Bruins and visiting Hartford Whalercanes: The Black and Gold were about to see their impressive 16-game point streak come to a halt. And then you remembered that momentum flips with ease in a 16-game point streak, and in a 4-3 overtime victory for the B’s at TD Garden.
In an 0-2 hole behind a pair of strikes from the ‘Canes Sebastian Aho, the first of which came off Zdeno Chara’s skate in the first period before Aho turned on the jets for a beautiful breakaway goal, the Bruins fumbled and stumbled their way into an 0-for-1 on what should have been a game-changing power-play opportunity with Carolina’s Jordan Staal in the box.
Of course, there was more to this than just their power-play miss.
In what started as a heated, old school Adams Division kinda contest, the Bruins struggled to get quality looks on
Hartford Carolina goaltender Curtis McElhinney, and the loss of trade deadline pickup Marcus Johansson just minutes into the game threw Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy’s hopes for a balanced lineup right out the window.
So those aforementioned Bruins’ man-advantage missteps were just another reason why this game was going nowhere fast.
But then came a rebound put home by Chris Wagner at the 12:28 mark of the second period. The goal, tucked home off a Brandon Carlo shot McElhinney initially contained, not only gave the Walpole-born Wagner double-digit goals for the first time in his NHL career, but brought the Garden crowd back to life more than your loudest rendition of Brass Bonanza ever could.
Jake DeBrusk made good on this energetic swing just six minutes later, and the Bruins looked poised for more.
The Bruins got exactly that on Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron’s latest shorthanded clinic, capped off by Bergeron for his 23rd goal of the season, too, and found themselves protecting a one-goal edge with 17:15 left to play.
But the ‘Canes found the game-tying goal with just 7:43 left to play behind a Justin Williams tally, and it was off to overtime.
The Bruins struggled to find their offensive footing from a possession standpoint in the opening moments of the overtime, but a Justin Faulk turnover forced by DeBrusk gave the Bruins the space needed to make some magic with David Krejci.
With the victory, the Bruins did extend their point streak to 17 games, making this the seventh time in franchise history that the Bruins have strung together a point streak of at least 17 games.
Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves in the winning effort, and extended his personal point streak to seven games (5-0-2).
The Bruins will continue this homestand and look to make it 18 straight on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.