After a stagnant overtime period of play, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin game up with big one-on-one shots with goalie Pekka Rinne as the Boston Bruins (34-17-2) got a big shootout win against the Nashville Predators (32-19-5) on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
Even though he allowed three goals during regulation (19 of 22 shots saved), Tim Thomas came up huge for the Bruins in the shootout as he stopped crucial shots from Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat to help the Bruins prevail in the shootout.
The two teams took a little while to get started on the offensive end, but Boston drew the first blood late in the first period. With 16 minutes past, Bergeron got the party started with a wrist shot that beat Predators goal tender Pekka Rinne that gave Boston the early 1-0 advantage.
Predators defenseman Shea Weber equalized the game for Nashville in the second period with a slap shot that beat goalie Tim Thomas on a Nashville power play. B's defensman Adam McQuaid created the PP opportunity after he went to the penalty box for roughing.
In the third period, both teams showed that they really wanted it. Daniel Pallie got the period started with a backhand shot that beat Rinne and gave the Bruins a 2-1 late lead. With the game in hand with just 10 minutes to go, it certainly looked as if the B's ready to give this one away.
Down one goal, the Predators offense awoke with an equalizing wrist shot by winger Patrick Hornqvist that got past Thomas. Then with just over three minutes of play left in the game, the Predators looked to seemingly end the Bruins' chance with a Mike Fisher backhander ending up in the back of the net. It turns out the Bruins had one more left in them.
After silly 2-min Kostitsyn tripping penalty, the B's got to go on a power play for the remainder of the game. Milan Lucic made Nashville pay for their sloppy execution, as he got a wrist shot past Rinne for just over one minute of regulation left. Talk about a clutch shot. With it, the B's took the game into extra time and ultimately won it in the shootout.
Kostitsyn accounted for two of four Predator penalties on the day as Mike Fisher (hooking), Craig Smith (to many men) also had stints in the penalty box. For the Bruins, Shawn Thornton served two minutes for to many men on the ice and Adam McQuaid served two stints, one resulting in a Predators goal.
With the then win, the Bruins will look to build a winning streak for the first time since Jan. 12 as they battle the first place New York Rangers at home on Valentines Day on Tuesday.