Your Boston Bruins traveled to the Mile High City tonight to take on the defending Stanley Cup champs for the second time in 4 days. At the end of 60, the B’s handed the Avs their 3rd straight loss and secured Linus Ullmark his 2nd shutout of the season with a 4-0 victory at Ball Arena. This wasn’t like the game at the TD Garden this past Saturday (5-1 good guys). No, this was a more business-like affair. The Bruins sleepwalked through the opening frame, but got it going down the stretch. For those keeping track of such things: The Bruins are now 15-0-0 on the season when scoring first, and 14-0-0 when leading after 2 periods. I’m not sure, is that good?
The opening stanza was a slog. Colorado was missing basically an All-Star lineup from its’ roster and the players out there (I’m sure) were thrilled heading into the first intermission sitting at gooses. I’m not making excuses here, I’m just pointing out that the Bruins were not exactly playing the COL varsity. Here’s the list of COL players that were out of the lineup:
- Bowen Byram, Darren Helm, Gabriel Landeskog
- Artturi Lehkonen, Kurtis MacDermid, Josh Manson
- Nathan MacKinnon, Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues
Landeskog hasn’t played this year, but the other 8 players listed above were in the Opening Night lineup for the banner raise. I’m just pointing it out, so don’t get your Black and Gold panties in a twist, it was still a win. The Avs did what they could to start the game. COL had their 3F high at all times making the B’s work the entire sheet to get to the COL zone. They were playing a conservative style and the Bruins seemed to have no problem with it. Maybe it was acclimating to the thinner air, or maybe it was taking the team lightly based on who they were missing. but the Bruins seemed to be coasting for the opening 20. The B’s were well represented on the road tonight however, as the first “Here we go Bruins, here we go” could be heard over the NESN feed with less than 6mins played in the game.
In the opening minutes of the 2nd, a big (clean) hit by Dryden Hunt on David Pastrnak seemed to wake the boys up. Tomas Nosek stuck his nose in there against a tough customer and drew the extra 2 for his troubles. It seemed as if the hit on Pasta (right in front of the Bruins bench) galvanized the boys and seemed to shake off the cobwebs. The Bruins were playing with more jump and there was a scrum after every whistle.
With about 4mins gone in the period, Pastrnak got the game winner off a great feed from (who else) David Krejci behind the COL net. Krejci worked the puck down low behind the net and managed to find Pasta high on the RW circle with a backhand feed right in Pasta’s wheelhouse. #88 put the puck off the far bar and in and the B’s were off and running.
The Bruins pace picked up after Pasta broke the ice and it was the newly re-worked 3rd line who got on the scoresheet next. Charlie Coyle broke up a COL outlet and Trent Frederic was right there in support and put the puck right back on Coyle’s tape as he reached the top of the RW circle. Coyle gathered the puck and drove the puck wide over a sprawled out Sam Girard who just looked on helplessly as Coyle dragged it laterally to give himself space before finding Taylor Hall on the net drive. Hall potted it up and over Alexandar Georgiev to put the B’s up by a pair.
That score held until the third when Freddy showed he can put some mustard on a puck. Coyle possessed the puck off a face-off in the COL end and dropped it to Hall circling back up high at the LW dot. Hall laid the puck over to Freddy who had found a soft spot in the high slot and he pounded a one-timer that broke through Georgiev’s glove and over the line. What a great sequence from this line. Everyone working hard on the possession, finding the open player and an excellent finish.
Just past midway of the final frame, Hall got his second of the contest (5-2-7 in his last 4GP) when he smoked Georgiev on a wrister as he broke in alone. At the end of a PK, Ullmark made a directional save with his right leg to Jake DeBrusk on the near boards in the Bruins defensive zone. While this was happening, Matt Grzelcyk busted ass out of the penalty box and sprinted for the Bruins bench. Hall hopped on the ice with his head up looking for the puck the entire way. DeBrusk banked the puck up and out of the BOS zone on his backhand and Hall skated into it, gathering the puck as he crossed the COL blue line. Hall dragged it across on his backhand and got Georgiev to move to his right as he fired the wrister back across the grain short side. What a snipe. Sometimes I still can’t believe that Taylor Hall is a Bruin.
The Bruins scramble out of Denver ahead of their first visit to Mullet Arena when they take on the ARZ Coyotes on Friday. Then it’s off to see Butchie in the desert and try to avenge their shootout loss to the Golden Knights back on Monday. We having some fun or what?
And once again, The Huggy Bears are spotted in the wild.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below of follow him on Twitter @Abrow28