The Boston Bruins were without two important pieces when they took the ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday in an important Atlantic Division matchup, but the team came through with one of the biggest wins of the season.
With David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm sidelined with injuries, Linus Ullmark played what was probably his finest game as a Bruin, making 28 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory. It wasn’t the quantity of stops that was so instrumental, but the quality, as the veteran was tested throughout the game, but denied Tampa at the right times to preserve his 23rd win. Right wing Jake DeBrusk also came through with one of his best showings of the year, scoring his 22nd goal early in the second period, assisting on Charlie Coyle’s overtime game-winner, and making his presence felt with outstanding two-way play and some forced turnovers.
The win moved the B’s into sole possession of third place in the division, dropping Tampa to fourth. More importantly, it reinforced the team’s veteran poise, strong culture and demonstrated an ability to win tight games when missing top components in a formula that has racked up 45 wins this season. Head coach Bruce Cassidy and his staff have been able to keep the team focused and prepared, but what are some of the other key factors to Boston’s consistency and success?