BOSTON – If there's been one thing learned about the Bruins in their run of 18 consecutive games with a point, it's that they don't know how to give up.
For the second game in a row, the Bruins fell down by a pair of goals and again found a way to come out with the two points in a 4-3 comeback win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. It was way more dramatic with an emphasis on never-say-die this time, however, with the Bruins scoring the tying goal with less than 40 seconds remaining in the third period and their goalie pulled out from the net.
Then the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron scored the winner with just 6.7 seconds remaining to complete the storybook ending. It was impressive for the dramatic flair at the end of the third period and perhaps just as remarkable after the Bruins looked fairly uninspired for a good portion of the game.
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"We're pretty relentless and have never given up on anything. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't, but I think the biggest thing is that you never give up, it paid off [against the Panthers] in a big way," said Tuukka Rask. "It's in our DNA now that we just don't give up. We go about our business and just battle until the end and then like I said sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't.
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"I think that in and of itself is a special thing when you just don't give up you keep plugging away and know that the good things are going to happen when you do that. They have been lately."
It didn't look early on as if it was going to Boston's night, and it certainly might have been easy to simply give in and toss away the game after notching points in 17 consecutive games.
Instead, the Bruins gathered themselves, found a way to gain a foothold and then waited for the resolve to turn into some third-period magic.
Bergeron scored a shorthanded goal in the third period to even things up, but then the Bruins again lost the lead when the Panthers responded with Jonathan Huberdeau's second goal of the game. It stayed that way until Boston dug in and really showed the team's character with the two goals in the final minute.
First, it was Matt Grzelcyk with the unlikely power-play bomb from the high point with the goalie pulled. Then it was Bergeron putting one under the bar against Roberto Luongo in a familiar, enjoyable sight for B's fans. The goal arrived with 6.7 seconds remaining and served as prime evidence that the Bruins always battle to the bitter end.
"It can be a be a pretty good character builder that we never gave up, we never just folded the tent and said this is the end of – whether it's a streak or the game is over before the final buzzer goes. The guys showed that they're willing to play and stick our noses in there and figure out a way to at least give ourselves a chance," said David Backes, who picked up an assist in the win. "Those are fun to celebrate and that was a pretty big pick me up, and those can give you life for a while. Hopefully, we can get an interjection of continued energy from the effort that we put in and the result we ended up getting."
A win like this doesn't mean the B's are going to win the Cup and it actually reveals that they've got some things to work on within their game. Still, it also gives the Bruins the confidence that they can win in just about any situation and that kind of certain resiliency can go a long way as the games get bigger.
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