Patrice Bergeron's 2OT winner lifts Bruins to Game 1 victory


One day after having their game postponed by a five-overtime Lightning-Blue Jackets marathon, the Bruins and Hurricanes did their part to mess up the NHL bubble schedule even more, battling into double overtime in Game 1 of their first-round series.

That second overtime didn't last long, though. Just 1:13 into the period, Brad Marchand led the first line on a rush into the offensive zone and fed David Pastrnak cutting down the middle. Pastrnak then made a nice dish over to Patrice Bergeron, who fired a shot past Petr Mrazek's blocker to give the Bruins a 1-0 series lead.

The goal was Bergeron's fourth career overtime winner in the playoffs, a Bruins franchise record.

37's always got us covered.#NHLBruins | @Xfinity

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 12, 2020

The Bruins controlled much of the first overtime period, registering six of the first eight shots on goal in the extra session. Jake DeBrusk and Pastrnak both made nice plays throwing the puck on net with bodies in front, creating the potential for the kind of greasy goal you often see in overtime, but Mrazek was able to locate both pucks and cover them. Mrazek also made a nice blocker save on Chris Wagner, who had a good chance walking down main street off a line change.

Charlie Coyle gave the Bruins a power play late in the first overtime when Brady Skjei dragged him down on a zone entry, but the Bruins couldn't capitalize, continuing an ongoing theme since they arrived in the bubble. They finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and are now 0-for-13 since the season resumed.

With questions abound about how the Bruins would come out after their 0-3 round-robin performance, not to mention a postponement and unique start time, the answer for most of the first period was: Pretty well. The Bruins controlled play for much of the period and outshot the Hurricanes 9-4 in the frame.

But then they suffered one of the costly defensive breakdowns that plagued them throughout the round-robin and Carolina took a 1-0 lead. Warren Foegele entered the Bruins zone one-on-three as the rest of his line changed off, but the three Bruins -- Coyle, Nick Ritchie and Anders Bjork -- surrounded Foegele without actually attacking him, giving him far too much time and space and allowing his new linemates to join the play.

From there it was just one Bruin being too late to pick up their man after another. Matt Grzelcyk was late to Sebastian Aho as he entered the zone and took a pass from Foegele. Bjork was late to Teuvo Teravainen as Aho slid the puck over to him. Then Ritchie wasn’t even close to goal-scorer Joel Edmundson, who walked into the zone as the trailer and blasted a one-timer that beat Tuukka Rask block-side.

The Bruins showed a nice response after the goal, though, and wound up tying the game a few minutes later on a nice set play off an offensive zone faceoff from the top line, which desperately needed to get out to a good start after a quiet round-robin, and did. Bergeron won the faceoff back, Marchand collected the puck and looped through the left circle, then made a great pass across the slot to Pastrnak, who one-touched it over a sprawling Mrazek.

That's some good eatin' -- @pastrnak96 | #StillHungry

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 12, 2020

The second period was a similar story, as the Bruins continued to dominate five-on-five play, only to find themselves heading to the third tied 2-2. Coyle gave the Bruins their first lead since arriving in the bubble when he buried a shot after Bjork freed the puck out of a scrum in front, but then the Hurricanes answered just 21 seconds later when Brock McGinn picked off a Pastrnak no-look pass and took it the other way for a shorthanded breakaway goal.

That was the lowlight of the Bruins’ ongoing power-play struggles, as they mustered just three shots on goal on their first three man advantages and continued to struggle mightily to even enter the zone and get set up, much less create quality scoring chances.

The Bruins’ problems with finishing their chances also reared their ugly head again. Jake DeBrusk put a beautiful pass from David Krejci -- one of several Krejci made in the game -- off the post, then missed an open net a few minutes later. Krejci also set up Charlie McAvoy for a great chance that Mrazek saved, and Grzelcyk had a double doink off the crossbar and post.

Krejci decided to take the scoring into his own hands in the first minute of the third, giving the Bruins a 3-2 lead at the end of another strong shift for his new-look line with DeBrusk and Ondrej Kase. Kase in particular won multiple puck battles to maintain possession, and also put a couple shots on goal off Krejci setups. One of those shots led to a juicy rebound that Krejci settled and calmly slid past Mrazek after a quick head fake.

The 'ole doorstep dangle.DK46 | #NHLBruins

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 12, 2020

The Bruins couldn’t make that lead hold up either, though. With 10:11 left in regulation, Ritchie and Sean Kuraly both lost battles along the boards and Haydn Fleury wristed a shot through traffic from the point that beat Rask glove-side. Rask may have been at least partially screened on the play, but it still looked like a second goal that he probably should’ve had. Neither team could score the remainder of regulation, sending the game to overtime.

Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday night at 8 p.m.

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