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Friday, January 17, 2014

Chad Johnson Propels the B's to 1 of Their Best Road Wins of the Season, Wait What?

I'll be honest, I didn't think Chad Johnson had performances like tonight-32 saves-in him. Granted, neither did Boston's (30-15-2) front office or head coach Claude Julien since his last start was way back on December 19. Regardless, he was great this evening as the Bruins won 4-2 at Dallas' (21-19-7) American Airlines Center.

Boston's top line showed up as well after taking the last four games off (with no points in any of them). David Krejci scored the first goal and Milan Lucic netted the third goal. In addition, Brad Marchand continued to heat up with another goal and Patrice Bergeron clinched it with an empty-netter.

Since they won, we can laugh about it a little more but the B's got absolutely hosed out of a goal by Gregory Campbell early in the first period. A Stars defensemen tried to clear it but the puck went off Campbell's skate and in. I didn't think he had time to react and do that but after watching a replay, the refs reversed the call of goal and said he kicked it.

Krejci scored his 10th goal of the season with four seconds left in the second. Lucic had the lone assist after winning a puck battle in the corner and passing it to Krejci who snapped it by Kari Lehtonen (37 saves). That was Krejci's first goal in six games.

Boston's struggling penalty kill had successfully survived the first four chances they gave Dallas but Erik Cole knotted it at one 1:18 into the third on a man advantage. It came on a nothing play as Tyler Seguin blindly threw the puck on Johnson but Cole was there to re-direct it before it got to him.

Two minutes later, Marchand put the Bruins back ahead for good after some old fashioned hustle. His first shot was stopped but he got to the rebound first and poked it in. Bergeron assisted on Marchand's 12th goal of the season.

Lucic gave Boston a rare two-goal lead with a tip-in of Krejci's wrist shot from the point on the power play. Torey Krug had the second assist on Lucic's 13th goal of the season at 15:46.

Jamie Benn padded his stats and created a few scary moments for Boston with a garbage goal at 18:49. Bergeron's empty-netter at 19:44 surely calmed nerves around New England. It was his 12th goal of the season.

Boston is off for two days before their must-see game on Sunday (12:30, NBC) at Chicago (30-8-11, 1st in Central Division). Tuukka Rask will be rested and ready to go as the teams square off for the first time since the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. I can't think of a better way to pass the time before Patriots-Broncos, can you?

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