BOSTON, Mass – The talk through all of Bruins training camp has been about the influx of youthful talent, and those players showed why on opening night.
With Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Torey Krug missing from the lineup with injuries and ailments, the Bruins got goals from 21-year-old David Pastrnak, 20-year-old Jake DeBrusk and 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy in a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators in an impressive win at TD Garden. It was the first NHL goals for both DeBrusk and McAvoy as their respective families were both in attendance to watch a little history go down for them.
On the veteran side of things, David Krejci racked up three assists to lead the returning veterans in the lineup and looked fast, healthy and strong after focusing this summer on keeping pace with a league that’s getting faster every year.
Above and beyond the individual scorers, the Bruins looked fast and aggressive in holding the Predators at bay aside from the one goal allowed in the waning seconds of the first period. On that one Pastrnak coughed up a puck in the D-zone after a face-off win from David Krejci, and Viktor Arvidsson ended up beating Tuukka Rask high from a juicy shooting position in the slot.
Otherwise, Rask and the B’s defense was strong with the Finnish netminder stopping 26-of-29 shots he faced and the Bruins skaters keeping the ice tilted toward Nashville’s end for most of the night. Brad Marchand added the empty netter in the closing minutes to seal the victory for Boston, and Nashville added a couple of very late PP goals to keep the score close.
Now the Bruins will be off for the weekend without a game until a Monday afternoon matinee against the Colorado Avalanche, and a chance that perhaps Bergeron and Krug could return to the lineup ahead of their first West Coast trip of the season.