Cam Neely is every Bruins fan as he celebrates Milan Lucic’s game-winning goal late in the third period.
In a crucial game between a team chasing Boston in the standings for the final wild card spot, the goal was the biggest of the season as it completed the Bruins come-from-behind win. The goal was the biggest of any goal all season for the Bruins in the crucial game between a team chasing them in the standings for the final wildcard spot.
Before the game, Jack Edwards announced that NESN’s annual Seventh Player Award was awarded to David Pastrnak. The award is voted on by fans for the player who exceeds expectations on the season.
Pastrnak showed his value early with a strong play in the offensive zone that lead to this Torey Krug scoring chance. The Bruins had several good scoring chances early on.
Reilly Smith was wide open in front of Roberto Luongo, but missed the net completely.
The Bruins got a power play chance later in the first period, and just missed when David Krejci hit the post.
Tuukka Rask made a big save on Brandon Pirri to preserve the scoreless tie.
Rask made another big save while the Bruins killed off an Adam McQuaid penalty.
Shortly after that Rask save, Patrice Bergeron drew a penalty to even it out to a 4-on-4. Loui Eriksson scored the first goal of the game — his 20th of the season — from Carl Soderberg.
The Bruins opened the second period with a 1-0 lead, but it had evaporated by the end of the period. Things began to come apart quickly when Brad Marchand took a high sticking penalty 46 seconds into the period. Less than 10 seconds later, Pirri tied the game with his 21st goal of the season.
After the Panthers tied the game, the Bruins had a good push to regain the lead, but unfortunately went down 2-1 after Matt Bartkowski attempted a shot inside the offensive blue line, only to have it blocked and lead to an odd-man rush. In an uncharacteristically soft goal, Rask gave up a five-hole goal to Brad Boyes.
In the third period, trailing 2-1 and a playoff spot potentially on the line, the Bruins had two power play chances, but nothing to show for it. Carl Soderberg nearly scored, but Luongo robbed him with the blocker.
About halfway through the period, the Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak line continued their streak of excellence as Ryan Spooner fired the puck towards the net. Pastrnak went to the front of the net, causing trouble for Luongo, and the puck found its way in. Although Pastrnak was awarded the goal, it appears it may have never actually touched his stick. Regardless, it was his 11th of the season, from Spooner and Lucic.
The Bruins and Panthers played with high intensity as the game appeared to be headed for overtime, but the Bruins found a way when Milan Lucic fired a shot past Luongo with four Panthers surrounding him just inside the blue line. The goal, which was the game-winner, was Lucic’s 18th of the season, assisted by Pastrnak and Spooner.