It wasn’t the best matchup for the Boston Bruins Saturday, but the team allowed right wing David Pastrnak to take the faceoff with 0.9 seconds remaining in their overtime game with the Los Angeles Kings. According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, had Pastrnak just got a stick on the puck, things wouldn’t have spiraled out of control in that short amount of time. Instead, the Kings’ Anze Kopitar won a clean faceoff and passed it to Tyler Toffoli, who blasted it past Boston goaltender Tuuka Rask with 0.4 seconds left, allowing the Kings to walk away with a shocking victory. If you haven’t seen it, catch the video here.
According to Shinzawa, Pastrnak still was the best option for who was out there between Anders Bjork and Torey Krug, but he should have done anything, even illegal, to keep the Bruins from allowing a clean faceoff. A penalty would have only given the Kings an extra attacker, which would have made little difference with 0.9 seconds remaining, but it could have allowed Boston to substitute with a better face-off specialist like Patrice Bergeron.
“All we’re asking him to do is basically affect the puck there,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “Not even win it. We don’t need to win it. We just need some sort of stick on it so it bounces toward the boards. I think that’s what David was thinking. If he could push it toward the boards, it has no chance of going backwards. Didn’t happen.”
- Brandon Burns of NHL.com writes that special teams is what let the Tampa Bay Lightning down in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The scribe writes that it has been the team’s special teams that has made the difference in the team’s success this season. While the team only found itself in two penalty killing situations all game, Tampa Bay allowed goals both times, while the power play had four power play chances and couldn’t convert, something the team has done in 10 of 11 games. Neither Steven Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov were able to get on the scoreboard, breaking both of their scoring streaks at 11 games.
- Katie Strang of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that the Detroit Red Wings should be taking a long look at Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Joe Hicketts as a potential callup to fix the team’s defensive struggles. The 21-year-old undrafted free agent has impressed the organization and almost made the team out of training camp with his physical play, despite his 5-foot-8, 177-pound frame. The scribe breaks down Hicketts’ play and points out that he is the perfect player to shake up the team’s failing blueline.
- The Boston Bruins tweeted that veterean center David Krejci will miss Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with what’s believed to be a back injury. Krejci, who missed Saturday’s game against the Kings, has one goal and five assists in six games, centering the Bruins top line. David Backes will likely fill in for him in that spot again.