By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
It’s funny how quickly a game can go from boring and just one of 82 to memorable in the blink of an eye.
Or in this case, the drop of the gloves from an unusual brawler.
With the Bruins and Stars deadlocked at 1-1 in the second period of a choppy game at TD Garden, a skirmish between the Bruins’ David Krejci and Dallas center Joe Pavelski began to unfold in front of Boston goaltender Jaroslav Halak. The two were locked up and jawing, but then came the gloves came off No. 46, and a beatdown ensued.
Hammering Pavelski with about eight shots throughout the scrap, and with Pavelski struggling to get any offense of his own in, Krejci calmly skated to the penalty box following his first fighting major since 2011 to the tune of Gangsta’s Paradise.
“It was just one of those things,” the soft spoken Krejci said after the win when asked about his fight.
But it was also all TD Garden needed to get jacked, and all the Bruins needed as the kick in the ass that powered them to a skid-snapping 4-3 victory over the Stars on Boston ice.
With momentum noticeably on their side after the Krejci fight, the Bruins jumped out to their first lead of the night on a Brad Marchand finish created by a tremendous Charlie McAvoy feed, and then extended their lead to two on Nick Ritchie’s first goal as a Bruin. It was the two floor-erupting strikes of an 8:34 post-fight segment that saw Boston outshoot Dallas by a 7-1 mark.
“It’s organic, nothing staged there,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krejci’s scrap. “It certainly woke us up. Not that I felt we didn’t have it early on, but gave us a little extra juice. Let’s put it that way.”
And when things got tight by way of Denis Gurianov’s deflection at the 1:18 mark of the third period, David Pastrnak capitalized on a beautiful feed from Ritchie to push the Black and Gold’s edge back to two on Pastrnak’s 46th goal of the year.
The Bruins would sweat one more time by the night’s end, however, as a bad bounce at each end of the rink made this a one-goal game with two and a half minutes remaining in the third period.
First came an empty-net miss from a falling Sean Kuraly, which helped the Stars generate an odd-man rush on Halak. And with 3-on-1 turned to a 2-on-0 in their favor, the Stars’ Miro Heiskanen was denied by a sprawled Halak for a 10-bell save. But unfortunately for Halak, a bad bounce went off Zdeno Chara and into the Boston net to make it a one-goal game.
But the Bruins held the fort down by holding all of the Stars’ top threats to the outside, and Halak came through with stops on the final three shots thrown his way to help seal the deal on a B’s victory.
Ondrej Kase, acquired from the Ducks last Friday in a three-piece return headlined by David Backes, made his Bruins debut in the winning effort, and finished with two shots and two hits in 15:16 of time on ice. Kase bounced around the Boston lineup a little bit, too, playing with Ritchie and Krejci on the Black and Gold’s second line, and also taking some fourth-line shifts.
Chris Wagner, meanwhile, left this contest due to an apparent upper-body injury.