Bruins

Two-goal night for Pastrnak not enough for Bruins in 4-2 loss to Avalanche

Two-goal night for Pastrnak not enough for Bruins in 4-2 loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – Some nights are emotional, come-from-behind efforts full of hope and energy that the Bruins have turned a corner, and then others are like Thursday night’s slog against the Colorado Avalanche. 

The majority of the Bruins simply didn’t show up to start the game, and most of them never really fully showed up in a 4-2 loss to the Avalanche at TD Garden that snapped a 4-0-2 stretch of games with points for the Black and Gold. 

MORE: 

It all started with 4-on-4 play during the first period when Matt Duchene was allowed way too much time and space in the offensive zone, and hammered a shot past Anton Khudobin while all alone in the slot. Seven minutes later the Bruins power play was leaking oil all over the ice, and Torey Krug laid out for a puck at the blue line while he couldn’t keep possession. Instead Nathan MacKinnon beat him in a race down the ice and buried a shot past Khudobin to give Colorado a commanding, early 2-0 lead over Boston. 

A John Mitchell score on a short side wrist shot off the rush to makes it a 3-0 advantage, and that’s when things turned into the David Pastrnak Show. 

The 20-year-old scored a pair of goals to get the Bruins back into the game, electrify the crowd and give Pastrnak an amazing 18 goals scored in 23 games this season. The first was a breakaway after a long stretch pass from Tim Schaller connected with the dangerous Pastrnak, and the second was a bazooka one-timer off a Brad Marchand feed from the corner. 

Unfortunately the Bruins couldn’t hold onto that momentum while playing at their lollygagging pace for the night, and allowed a late Carl Soderberg score late in the second period that wiped out all of their momentum.

It was a rough night all-around, and that goes for Khudobin as well while allowing four goals on 20 shots that dropped his record to 1-4-0 on the season. 

Stars-Bruins Talking Points: Nick Ritchie as advertised in Bruins victory over Stars

Stars-Bruins Talking Points: Nick Ritchie as advertised in Bruins victory over Stars

GOLD STAR: Nick Ritchie showed his physicality on Tuesday night and showed off the skill that made him a top-10 pick in the draft in Thursday night’s win over the Stars.

Ritchie scored a second period goal on his first shot as a member of the Bruins after collecting a loose puck in the high slot and firing it through traffic on its way past Ben Bishop. Then, Ritchie teamed with David Pastrnak on a give-and-go play where he fed No. 88 at the post for a tap-in goal that showed off the big winger’s smooth hands for a power forward-type player.

Ritchie finished with two shot attempts, three hits and a pair of blocked shots to go along with a plus-1 rating in 12:59 of ice time, and continues to show the ability to win battles along the boards and serve as a big body in front of the net. He looks as advertised a couple of games into his Bruins career.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

BLACK EYE: Alex Radulov didn’t even register a blip on the radar screen for the Stars as he finished with zero shots on net while on ice for a pair of goals against in 13:49 of ice time.

Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn at least both picked up assists in the loss for Dallas while showing a little offensive production, but Radulov was a passenger while doing next-to-nothing in defeat. Radulov is having a so-so season with the Stars while sitting at 15 goals and 33 points, but it was far from his “A” game against the Bruins on Thursday night.

Then there’s the literal black eye that Joe Pavelski probably received after getting hammered by a flurry of right-handed punches from David Krejci before the referees were able to break things up.

TURNING POINT: It was very clearly the fight between Krejci and Pavelski in the second period where Krejci had decided enough was enough with the Stars forward. Krejci got tangled up with Pavelski in front of the net and the gloves came flying off both players before the Bruins center landed a number of right-handed punches on him.

The Bruins seemed to play with more intensity and energy following the fisticuffs from Krejci and scored a pair of goals to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on the evening. For a player that was criticized for not playing hard enough following Tuesday night’s loss, Krejci had a big response this time around in his first fight since dropping the gloves with Benoit Pouliot during the 2010-11 season.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak continues to push the envelope offensively and that’s what he did in scoring his 46th goal of the season on Thursday night. Pastrnak sped the puck up the ice all by himself, dished quickly to Nick Ritchie and then cut to the net before the power forward dished it back to him for the tap-in goal at the post.

Pastrnak finished with a goal, two points and a plus-2 rating in 17:16 of ice time while registering four shots on net and eight shot attempts overall. More importantly, Pastrnak had zero giveaways in the game and managed the puck while making his usual array of dazzling plays in the offensive zone.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the number of shots on net in a Bruins uniform that it took for both Ritchie brothers to score goals, and with both of those goals coming against the Stars.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We responded. They were aware that it wasn’t our best. We needed to be better and we were tonight.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the B’s bouncing back after back-to-back losses to Vancouver and Calgary. 

NHL Highlights: Nick Ritchie steps up in Bruins 4-3 win over Stars

NHL Highlights: Nick Ritchie steps up in Bruins 4-3 win over Stars

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Stars 3

IN BRIEF: Nick Ritchie scores his first goal as a Bruin, David Pastrnak scores his 46th of the season, and the Boston Bruins snap a two-game losing streak to the Dallas Stars. Ritchie also added an assist on Pastrnak's goal, and played much better than in his Bruins debut. Unfortunately, Ondrej Kase didn't produce, but it was his first game back from injury on top of playing with a new team. The Bruins managed to widen the gap in the Atlantic Division as the Tampa Bay Lightning lost their fourth straight to the Chicago Blackhawks.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 40-13-12 (92 points)

HIGHLIGHTS

KLINGBERG PUTS THE STARS ON THE BOARD FIRST

CHARLIE COYLE RESPONDS WITH POWER PLAY GOAL

DAVID KREJCI AND JOE PAVELSKI DROP THE MITTS

BRAD MARCHAND GIVES B'S THE LEAD OFF SLICK FEED FROM MCAVOY

NICK RITCHIE NOTCHES FIRST GOAL AS A BRUIN

DALLAS CUTS BOSTON'S LEAD TO ONE

46TH SERVING OF PASTA PUTS BOSTON BACK UP BY TWO

SEGUIN PUTS THE STARS WITHIN ONE LATE IN THE THIRD PERIOD

UP NEXT:
@ New York Islanders, Saturday, 1 p.m. NESN
@ Tampa Bay Lightning, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. NBCSN

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.