A lot of the build up for Game 2 saw us talking about where Zdeno Chara should be playing on the power play and focusing on how bad the Bruins power play has been through the playoffs. There’s also been the discussion of how good Roberto Luongo has been through the playoffs as well including a hot shutout streak heading into this game.
Consider all of those things null and void. Boston broke Luongo’s shutout streak at 138:54 when Milan Lucic scored on a goalmouth scramble at the 9:00 mark of the second period. The goal tied the game at 1-1 and got the Bruins the motivation they’d been sorely lacking in the game.
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The motivation and the momentum would be continued on the power play of all things just 2:35 later when Mark Recchi would tip home a Zdeno Chara shot from the point to make it 2-1 Boston. Chara was back on the point during that second period power play and having him help set up Recchi is doubly satisfying as Recchi had yet to score a power play goal in these playoffs despite logging the third most minutes on the man advantage in the playoffs for Boston. Recchi at 43 years-old is now the oldest player to score in the Stanley Cup finals in the NHL era.
For Boston, they’ve got the lead now and have to weather the next 20 minutes so they can head home with the series tied. Vancouver has to find a way to win back the strength of play and it starts with the Sedin twins as they’ve been relatively invisible in this game. If they can’t step up they have to get better play from elsewhere and hope that Tim Thomas (10 saves in the second, 20 overall) can give give up a goal or two. That might be asking a lot out of Thomas, but if the Sedins get their game going, Vancouver is better off for it.
One thing Vancouver will have to get past in the third is the Bruins power play that they’ll have for 59 seconds to start the period.
There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.
This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.
Carr has no prior NHL experience.
The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.
In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.
This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.