In the crapshoot that is the shootout, a head coach might as well use past success as a deciding factor in picking his shooters.
That’s what Bruins bench boss Claude Julien did tonight in Sunrise, Fla., as Blake Wheeler scored the lone goal of the post-overtime spectacle to lift Boston to a 3-2 win over Florida.
Never mind that Wheeler, making his first shootout attempt of the season, lost the puck on his attempt and then stuffed it inside the right post, much to the dismay of Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen.
At least Wheeler, the Bruins’ second shooter after fellow shootout standout Tyler Seguin, tried a slightly different move by taking the puck out wide to his right, rather than relying on the same old boring maneuvers David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron have relied on.
The goal made sure that Krejci’s two-goal performance in the game’s first 60 minutes didn’t go for naught. The Bruins are now 1-3 in shootouts this season, and Wheeler is 7-for-21 in his career.
Here’s a look at the rest of the box score:
•Krejci scored twice, and he, Wheeler and Michael Ryder were all plus-2 on the night. Ryder added two assists.
•Tim Thomas was perfect on three shootout attempts and brilliant with 32 saves in regulation and overtime.
•Milan Lucic took his frustrations over the fine he had to pay for his match penalty from last Thursday’s game by throwing nine hits.