Talking Points: Jake DeBrusk, Steven Kampfer give Bruins needed spark in win


ADDS THAT IT WAS DEBRUSK’S SECOND GOAL OF THE PERIOD – Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk (74) looks at the puck in the net beside Buffalo Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen (55) after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. It was DeBrusk’s second goal of the period. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk was benched for most of the first period after he admittedly didn’t step in front of a shot early in the game. The message was received by DeBrusk, who went out and scored two power play goals within 18 seconds of each other in the third period to win the game for the Black and Gold.

Credit to DeBrusk, who has consistently responded when challenged by Bruce Cassidy over the years just as he did on Sunday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

DeBrusk becomes just the fourth player to crack double-digits in goals for the Bruins this season behind the big three on the Perfection Line, and finished with four shot attempts in 12:44 of ice time. He’s still clearly working on the small details of his game, but DeBrusk is also still responding in the right when pushed by the B’s coaching staff.

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BLACK EYE: How far has Jimmy Vesey fallen from a few seasons ago when a handful of NHL teams were vying for him in the “Vesey Sweepstakes?” Vesey, who has just four goals and 11 points in 36 games for the Sabres this season, had an awful turnover to David Pastrnak in Friday night’s loss in Buffalo and then was almost completely invisible in the Sunday night loss in Boston.

Vesey finished with one shot on net, one hit and one penalty in a completely forgettable 8:49 of ice time. He had company in the non-factor department with Kyle Okposo also registering something pretty close to a zero in the game against Boston as well.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were merely okay after the first two periods and had managed just two shots on net in the opening 20 minutes, so it wasn’t looking all that great 40 minutes into the game. But then the B’s managed to kick into higher gear in the third period once they got a tripping and hooking double-penalty called on Johan Larsson that gave the B’s an extended four-minute power play.

Once that happened DeBrusk scored the two goals in 18 seconds of time and the B’s had themselves a two-goal lead in the third period that they wouldn’t give up. They outshot the Sabres by a 9-7 margin in the third and certainly didn’t sit back on their lead.

HONORABLE MENTION: Give credit to Steve Kampfer for stepping up and getting it done in his role as the spare D-man that had to spend some time in the AHL before getting bumped back up when injuries hit in Boston. Kampfer had a couple of assists including a secondary helper on the game-winning goal for Jake DeBrusk, and was active in pretty much all departments in his 19:26 of ice time for the Black and Gold.

Kampfer finished with the two assists, four shot attempts, three hits, two takeaways and a blocked shot for his efforts. He will continue to get work as Connor Clifton went down with an injury during the win on Sunday night.

BY THE NUMBERS: 234-113-48 – the Bruins home record after playing their final game of the 2010s where they racked up 516 points. The total ranked them seventh overall in the NHL in home wins and sixth overall in home points.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s a privilege to put on the Bruins sweater every night. And you might not have your A-game, but you’ve got to bring your B-game to help your team win and be a good pro. So that’s a little bit of the message between periods. I didn’t think there was enough of that of late.” –Bruce Cassidy, on what the message was behind benching Jake DeBrusk in the first period.

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