BOSTON – Best known for his defence, Glen Metropolit gave the Boston Bruins a boost on the offensive end against Nashville.
Metropolit scored a pair of third-period goals and Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots Tuesday night to lift the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Predators.
“Every night he comes and plays hard for us,” Boston coach Claude Julien said of Metropolit. “We’ve asked him to kill penalties for the first time in his career this season. He’s done a great job at that. When you see a guy that gets rewarded, that’s nice to see.”
Marco Sturm scored his team-leading 17th goal for the Bruins, who posted their fifth win in seven games.
Alexander Radulov scored for the Predators and J.P. Dumont collected an assist, extending the league’s longest current active point streak to 15 games.
With the game tied 1-all, Metropolit broke in down the right wing, faked a shot, pulled the puck back and shifted around defenceman Greg Zanon before slipping a wrister between goalie Chris Mason’s pads 5:54 into the third period for what turned out to be the game-winner. He added an insurance goal by slipping a wrist shot inside the left post at 15:57.
“It’s nice,” Metropolit said, briefly flashing a smile before turning his answer to a team-concept response. “But like I said earlier, the important thing is that we won the game.”
Mason made 25 saves.
After a fairly uneventful and scoreless opening period, things got interesting in the second.
Dumont came flying in down the middle, attempting to collect a pass en route to the net, and crashed over Thomas without appearing to slow up. The Bruins goalie rolled over and began throwing punches at Dumont, who was whistled for goaltender interference. Jason Arnott was also given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor, giving Boston a two-man, power-play advantage.
“I think it was the worst call I’ve ever seen, to tell you the truth,” Dumont said. “I know he’s coming out. I stop and try not to hit him and he pretty much charged me, and I fell on him. I didn’t even try to punch him and he started to punch me with his blocker.”
Thomas, after thinking for a moment, kind of agreed.
“In a way, he might have done me a favour when he tried to go over me,” he said. “At first I was in a vulnerable position, and that’s what angered me.”
The Bruins made it 1-0 during the advantage when Sturm banged home a cross-ice pass from David Krejci at 9:05 of the second.
“That kind of bugged me. It wasn’t interference and he got an interference call,” Mason said. “They should have had a penalty on there, too.”
Thomas made a diving stick save on Rich Peverley, who collected a rebound at the left edge of the crease with 3:17 left in the second.
Dumont centred a pass to Radulov, who one-timed a shot past Thomas, tying the game with 51 seconds left in the period.
Notes: Metropolit collected his 100th career point on his first goal. … Sturm is tied with Chuck Kobasew for the team lead. … Thomas has faced 30 or more shots in 19 of his 31 complete games. … Bruins RW Glen Murray missed his 16th straight game with a hip flex and LW P.J. Axelsson missed his seventh consecutive with a bruised right foot. … Mason came in hot before the break, going 4-1-2 with a 1.68 goals against in the previous seven. … Boston D Andrew Ference crushed RW Martin Erat with a check early in the third and then pounded C Scott Nichol, who quickly challenged him to a fight.