Linus Ullmark, Dmitry Orlov save Bruins in OT win
Playing for the third time in four days, the Bruins certainly looked gassed as they finished their four-game road trip in Calgary.
In a game where they did not deserve two points, Linus Ullmark carried the team to an overtime victory, making 54 saves.
“It was a lot of fun. You never really want to get up to almost 60 shots in the game, but I’ll take it,” Ullmark said. “We got two points and we’ll go home with a four-game road trip win streak.”
Despite just nine shots on goal through two periods, the Bruins took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission and a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Calgary ended up outshooting the Bruins by 37.
“The second was bad,” head coach Jim Montgomery said. “Calgary really outplayed us. If it wasn’t for Linus, the game would have been out of hand already.”
Ullmark is a lock for the Vezina trophy and should see plenty of MVP votes when the time comes, his performance on Tuesday was the true definition of how a goalie can steal a game.
His 54 saves were a career high.
Overtime was not any easier for Ullmark, asked to make six more saves before Charlie McAvoy collected a sweet pass from Patrice Bergeron and gave the Bruins a happy flight home back to Boston.
The sign of a good hockey team is one that can find ways to win when frankly, they shouldn’t.
On a night where generating scoring opportunities was hard for the Bruins offense; it was their talent on the backend that prevailed with three of the four Bruins’ goals coming from defensemen.
Dmitry Orlov scored twice in the first period, his fifth point in three games since the Bruins acquired the veteran in a trade with the Washington Capitals.
With Orlov in the mix, the Bruins have the depth they need on defense to navigate the difficult journey that the Stanley Cup Playoffs is.
With seven NHL-caliber defensemen on the roster, math will tell you one of them will be forced to watch from the press box.
In Edmonton Monday it was Connor Clifton, Brandon Carlo Tuesday in Calgary. Certainly, neither was deserving of a scratch, but with the top seed in the Eastern Conference all but locked up, rest is not a bad thing for a Bruins team that hit the ground running out of the gate in October.
As big as Orlov’s two first period goals were, his power play pass to Pavel Zacha late in the third that helped the Bruins tie the game at three was a glimpse at what Orlov can do in the offensive zone and shows he can be a threat on the second power play unit.
Orlov also blocked four shots, a night where the Flames attempted 93 shots.
As we inch towards the end of the regular season and what the Bruins hope is a deep playoff run, expect to see a more consistent rotation of the seven defensemen. Rest for studs like McAvoy and Lindholm, likely to come.
From who is in the lineup to who is not and which d-pairings Montgomery formulates will vary game-to-game.