3 takeaways from the Bruins’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Blues

One streak ended while another continued.

Charlie Coyle alludes a check from Oskar Sundqvist during the first period Saturday.
Charlie Coyle alludes a check from Oskar Sundqvist during the first period Saturday. –Dilip Vishwanat / AP Photo

The Bruins finished up their five-game western road swing Saturday with a meeting against the surging St. Louis Blues. They stumbled out of the gate and looked like a fatigued team in the final game of a road trip.

The Blues controlled the majority of play in the opening frame, and they jumped out to an early 1-0 lead courtesy of Alexander Steen’s seventh goal of the season. But the Bruins once again showed grit and resiliency and bounced back to tie things up on Chris Wagner’s second-period tally.

Yet, it wouldn’t be a true Bruins game this season without overtime, and, for that matter, a shootout. Boston ended up on the losing end this time around. Sammy Blais found the back of the net in the sixth and final round of the shootout to give St. Louis the 2-1 victory.

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“We got nine out of 10 points, the guys had some fun together, bonded a little bit,” Bruce Cassidy told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley postgame. “At the end of the day, I was really happy with how we played.”

Here’s what we learned as the Bruins had their seven-game win streak snapped at the hands of the red-hot Blues, yet extended their point streak to 13.

Bruins stamp their statement on the five-game trip

The Bruins stood at a crossroads when the road trip kicked off last week. No one really knew how good this team was with the trade deadline approaching. It left many wondering if general manager Don Sweeney would pull off a big trade to help the team’s chances of contending for a title.

Fans found out a lot about this Bruins team that made a major statement over the course of five games. The statement is that they’re for real and are a serious Stanley Cup contender.

“I thought it was a great road trip. Points out of every game,” goaltender Tuukka Rask told reporters. “I think we have to be extremely happy.”

Those nine out of a possible 10 points came on the road against quality opponents. The Bruins currently sit in third place in the entire NHL and second in the Eastern Conference.

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Boston showed that it can win in a variety of ways. The Bruins are peaking at the right time entering the final quarter of the 2018-19 campaign.

Tuukka Rask is (still) good

All of Rask’s naysayers don’t have a case anymore. But really, they haven’t had one for quite a while.

The 31-year-old put forth a tremendous outing against the Blues and was the main reason Boston was able to mount a comeback. Rask stood tall and kept pace with Jordan Binnington at the other end.

“I think it’s always a contest between the goalies in tight games,” Rask said following his 28-save night. “It’s always low scoring games against him and they play very tight defense.”

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Saturday’s contest was the latest notch in Rask’s slew of consecutive solid starts in net. The Finn has been nothing short of sensational over the last 15 games and has given the Bruins a chance to win with every start.

Cassidy mentioned a 60/40 split between Rask and Jaroslav Halak in terms of workload for the rest of the season. That is more than ideal for the Bruins. It will keep both veteran goaltenders fresh for the home stretch. A fully charged Rask come playoff time can only be a good thing for Cassidy and Co.

Charlie Coyle had a solid first act

Sweeney made his first move of the trade deadline period before Wednesday’s tilt with Vegas, as the fourth-year Bruins GM acquired Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild. The Boston University product made his debut as Boston’s third-line center three days later.

The 26-year-old strutted out for warmups at Enterprise Center looking like a natural sporting the spoked B. His Boston debut wasn’t too shabby, either.

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Coyle came as advertised. He stayed strong in his puck pursuit and already appears to be a significant upgrade over the likes of Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Trent Frederic. The newly acquired centerman finished with a minus-one in 16:36 of ice time.

“Playing in a new system is a little different, obviously, but I had my linemates help me out and talking a lot which was huge,” Coyle said. “I adjusted decently, but I’ll learn as we go here.”

Coyle added some theatrics and scored Boston’s lone shootout goal with a nifty move.

One game won’t tell the whole story, but moves like that will put Coyle on the right track in Boston.

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