BOSTON – What helped the Wild gain an edge on the Bruins and sit seconds away from victory might have actually sparked its downfall.
Up 4-2 in the third period Saturday at TD Garden, with two of those goals coming during seven power play chances, the Wild went on the penalty kill.
The Bruins, who had just one power play up to that point, earned a man advantage at 14 minutes, 39 seconds when center Victor Rask was called for holding. Although Boston didn’t convert on that opportunity, it did minutes later when winger Luke Kunin was whistled for tripping.
That goal by center David Krejci tied it at 4 and came just 48 seconds after Krejci pulled the Bruins within one.
“We had seven power plays,” center Eric Staal said. “They were looking obviously to call one the other way. Unfortunately, [Kunin] got his stick in. … They’re going to call that. It’s just the nature of how it works when you have that many power plays the other way.”
Even before Krejci scored twice to send the game to overtime, it looked like the Wild would be able to hold off the Bruins. Boston outshot the team 15-7 in the third, but the feel didn’t turn helter-skelter until after the Bruins scored their third.
“We were in full control,” goalie Alex Stalock said. “They get a power play. That gives them a little momentum. The building gets up and then from there I think they were rolling out their top guys shift after shift and they got some chances and put them in the net.”
This outcome dropped the Wild to 3-2-2 when leading after two periods, as closing out games remains a work in progress.
“Our Achilles heel this entire year so far has been with a lead, and we’re not able to keep it,” said winger Jason Zucker, who scored his third goal Saturday over his last three games. “So we’ve got to be better at that. That doesn’t fall on the goalies. The goalies have been unbelievable. It's everybody up front. Everyone down needs to be better and finish up these games for those guys.”
Stalock made a season-high 34 saves, one of which in the first period came on a 3-on-0. He managed to get a glove on the shot defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
“Just give yourself a chance,” Stalock said. “Try to figure out who’s going to be the guy to shoot it.”
One of the other memorable matchups of the night was between defenseman Matt Dumba and Boston’s Brad Marchand, as the two crossed paths throughout the game.
In the first period, both went off for roughing after wrestling to the ice.
“Just battles,” Dumba said. “He's a competitor. Same with me. Just fighting for ice. He's coming up that right side all night and me and [Jonas Brodin] saw that. I thought we did a good job against him.”