Boston Bruins

Mar 5, 2020; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (left) reacts after defenseman Torey Krug (right) scored the game winning goal in overtime to beat the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

The Bruins did not skate with their best legs on Thursday night.

But in a frantic 1-1 overtime frame and with the game on his stick, Torey Krug made sure Bruce Cassidy wasn’t left questioning his decision to give the team a light Wednesday skate and Thursday morning off, as the 5-foot-9 defender ripped a bullet through the Panthers’ Chris Driedger to give the Black and Gold their fourth straight win.

“It was a harder hockey game and like I said a little more ‘chip and chase,’ so you’re getting hit, you’re going back on pucks, so, good for them,” Cassidy, whose team remained nine points ahead of the Lightning (4-0 winners over Montreal) with the win, said. “I didn’t love our game, but I love the fact that we stayed in the game and gave ourselves the chance to win.”

But before Krug’s rocket, the Bruins were forced to lean on Jaroslav Halak — and in a major way — as the 34-year-old stoned Aleksander Barkov on an overtime breakaway that required some serious cool-as-a-cucumber vibes from No. 41.

The victory did comes with its own in-game loss, however, as Krug’s pairing partner, Brandon Carlo, exited this contest after receiving an Evgenii Dadonov elbow right to the mush in the second period of play.

Left bleeding from the mouth/lip and a little dazed as he made his way off the ice, Carlo exited with the help of Boston trainers while the referees changed Dadonov’s five-minute major to a two-minute minor (yeah, beats me too). Carlo, for what it’s worth, wasn’t seen at any point for the remainder of the night, and is considered day-to-day, according to Cassidy.

The Bruins made sure to cash in on Carlo’s pain though, as Patrice Bergeron put the Bruins on the board on a power-play tip through Driedger for his 30th goal of the season. With the goal, Bergeron hit the 30-goal mark for the sixth time in his B’s career, joining a list featuring Johnny Bucyk, Phil Esposito, Peter McNab, Rick Middleton, and Cam Neely.

Forward Anders Bjork, meanwhile, made his return to the B’s lineup after two straight scratches and finished with 10:56 of ice time as the fourth-line left wing next to Sean Kuraly and Joakim Nordstrom. Bjork, who needs to ‘get used’ to tight-checking games if he’s going to play in the playoffs according to Cassidy, was credited with a takeaway and giveaway in the effort.

The Bruins will return to Boston (and have Friday off) and get back to work Saturday night against the Lightning.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.