The Boston Bruins pulled off another comeback win Wednesday night, erasing a 1-0 deficit in the third period against the Florida Panthers with three unanswered goals. Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal eight seconds into the final frame and then Mark Recchi added a pair -- one on the power play for his 1,500th point -- and the Bruins split their two-game Florida road trip with a 3-1 win.
Here are five thoughts from afar on the Bruins 12th win of the 2010-11 season. Tim Thomas was once again superb in net, making 31 saves, and is now 11-1-1.
1. Recching Ball rolls to 1,500 points. When Peter Chiarelli looks back on his career as a Bruins general manager, he might consider his 2009 NHL trade deadline acquisition of future hall-of-famer Mark Recchi his best. Recchi, 42, seems to look younger every day, and on Wednesday “The Recching Ball” rolled on into the history books by registering his 1,500th regular-season point with two third-period goals to propel the Bruins to the 3-1 victory. Recchi is now 13th all-time in NHL regular-season points and continues to not only be a great influence on his younger teammates, but a pivotal piece to the Bruins' offense.
2. Caron and Marchand silence cap talk. With Marc Savard nearing a return to the lineup and the Bruins needing to clear cap space, the team placed Trent Whitfield on long-term injury reserve Monday. This meant that just more than $300,000 came off their salary cap figure, and the Bruins, according to a team source, would need to clear approximately $1.1 million in cap space to insert Savard back onto the roster. Throughout the day, speculation grew that rookies Jordan Caron ($1.1 million) and Brad Marchand ($821,667) could become cap casualties to make room for Savard’s return. Well, both Marchand and Caron played on Wednesday as if they read the rumors, hustling all night and factoring in on the score sheet. Marchand tied the game with a shorthander eight ticks into the third and Caron assisted on Recchi’s game-winner. If their play thus far is any indication, they won’t be going anywhere soon.
3. Krejci shakes off the rust. In his first two games back from a concussion that kept him out of the lineup for six games, center David Krejci showed glimpses of the amazing playmaking skills and vision he has but didn’t register on the score sheet. On Wednesday, when the Bruins needed it most, he converted his talent into points, setting up Recchi for the game-winning goal and getting the secondary assist on Recchi’s second, and milestone, goal. Krejci looks very comfortable and appears to have no ill effects from the concussion.
4. Julien shuffles the lines. Sensing his team needed a spark after another flat start, head coach Claude Julien decided to switch up his lines again. Julien returned Patrice Bergeron to the top line, centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton and slotting Krejci between Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder. It will be interesting to see if Julien keeps the latter trio together, as they have had plenty of success together in the past, especially during the 2008-09 season.
5. Bad starts won’t always lead to great finishes. Just as they did in Tampa Bay for their 3-1 loss Monday, the Bruins came out flat for the first 40 minutes. While they were outshot only 12-11 in the opening frame, the Bruins didn’t generate many legit scoring chances. Just as they did Monday when they were outshot 20-8 in the second period at Tampa Bay, things got worse in the second period at Florida, as the Bruins were outshot 14-8 and watched the opponent draw first blood once again with a Steve Reinprecht goal at 2:15.
But unlike Monday, that was the only goal the Bruins allowed, and they entered the third period with only a one-goal deficit. While they were able to come out and dominate the third period Wednesday -- outshooting the Panthers 18-6 -- to erase that deficit, the Bruins can’t keep hoping 20 minutes is all it takes to win. As Monday and other games have proved, this is not a recipe for success, and the Bruins need to start putting forth 60-minute efforts.