How Bruins overcame injuries, 2-goal deficit to make NHL history


When the Bruins went down by two in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, it looked as though they were in danger of falling just short of setting an NHL record. In order to accomplish the best start at home for any team in NHL history, the Bruins would need to pull off a comeback at TD Garden. The team once again showed its resilience when Boston scored three unanswered goals to seal its place in the NHL record books.

By completing the 3-2 comeback win, the Bruins became the first team in NHL history to start their season with 12 straight wins on home ice in the league's 106-year history.

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The win came with its fair share of challenges and triumphs.

The obstacles:

In order to complete the historic feat, the Bruins had to overcome a variety of setbacks. They needed to shake off their previous 5-2 loss against Florida on Wednesday, regain confidence in their penalty kill, and find a way to dig themselves out of the only two-goal hole they had been in at home all season.

They also battled injury setbacks. Linus Ullmark, who has a perfect 8-0-0 record at the Garden this season, suffered an upper-body injury that led to his exit in the third period. Jeremy Swayman, who gave up five goals in the Bruins’ previous outing, came into the game cold, with the Bruins down by one and 13:03 remaining in regulation to finish out the game and record the win.

“I think he’ll be okay, that’s all I care about, first thing I asked about. He’s a big Swedish Viking so he will be alright,” Swayman said about Ullmark after the game.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery seemed encouraged by the mobility Ullmark showed in his upper body after coming out of the game: “I think he has a little concern because it’s something he hasn't dealt with before. He has his range of motion already so we’re pretty confident he’s okay.”

The Bruins also played the entire third period down a forward, after Craig Smith departed Friday’s game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Montgomery updated both Ullmark and Smith’s injury outlook after the game, saying, “Him and Smitty are both upper body. We think both will be day-to-day but they’ve got to get looked at.”

How the comeback played out:

Several important plays factored into the Bruins’ surge to end the game.

Increased physicality in the second period, timely saves from both Bruins goaltenders and three goals from players on the ‘Czech line’ of Pavel Zacha, David Krejci and David Pastrnak all contributed to the winning effort.

Though he didn't add a point to the scoresheet, Charlie McAvoy’s play added energy to the Bruins and helped them turn things around when down by two. Montgomery credited a hit McAvoy made midway through the second period as a notable turning point in the game before the Bruins got on the board.

That physicality was followed by a late-period goal by Krejci, who cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 2-1 with 31 seconds left in the second frame.

Another Krejci goal in the third (that was originally waved off for goalie interference but was overturned to a good goal) tied the game with under 10 minutes remaining.

The Bruins, who were unable to score on any of their five power-play opportunities in regulation, made history when Pastrnak scored an overtime power-play goal to walk off with the victory and remain unbeaten at home.

Boston will have a chance to extend its home win streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night after a three-day break.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports