Final: Dallas 4, Boston 2
Recap: After Boston was assessed two penalties in the span of seven seconds, Loui Eriksson tallied on a 5-on-3 just 3:32 into the game, staking the Stars to a 1-0 lead. Boston knotted things up when Tyler Seguin tipped a shot by David Krejci past Kari Lehtonen at the 11:39 mark of the first, making it 1-1.
But Dallas responded with two more goals in the opening frame, taking a 3-1 lead into the second. Tom Wandell buried his second goal of the season in the middle frame, putting Dallas ahead 4-1. Milan Lucic buried an early goal in the third, but that was as close as the Black and Gold would get, as the Stars spoiled New Year’s Eve for the B’s with a 4-2 victory.
Key Play of the Game: Trailing 2-1 late in the third, Boston had the misfortune of Zdeno Chara being sent to the box for a retaliatory “interference” penalty drawn by Brenden Morrow. On the ensuing power play, old friend Michael Ryder faked out Tim Thomas and sent a backhander into the back of the net, taking some serious win out of the Bruins’ sails and putting the Stars up 3-1.
Connolly’s Commendations: The two Bruins that hooked up on Boston’s first tally of the game had solid nights. Krejci (also the recipient of some ensuing criticism) assisted on both of the B’s goals and was plus-1, while Seguin fired three shots on goal in the contest and was plus-2.
Johnny Boychuk also deserves a pat on the back for his performance. No. 55 blocked a game-high five shots in 19:25 of ice time.
Connolly’s Critiques: Conversely, Krejci was absolutely dreadful at the dot. The Czech pivot won just 1-of-9 draws (11%).
Nathan Horton also wasn’t of much help for the Black and Gold in this one. The streaky forward finished minus-2 with just a single shot on net.
Notes: Bruins goalie Tim Thomas allowed more than three goals for the first time this season. Lehtonen earned his first win since a recent return from a groin injury that sidelined him for a month. Boston’s three-game winning streak against the Stars came to an end.
Final Thoughts: The good times couldn’t continue forever for the Bruins, but boy did they look sloppy during a number of stretches in this one, especially the first period. With an abundance of turnovers and a n endless string of ill-timed penalties, the B’s simply put themselves in a hole they couldn’t climb out of, dashing hopes of an eighth-straight win.
Next: The Bruins will conclude their three-game road swing on Jan. 4 when they take on the Devils in New Jersey.