Bruins

Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils: Bergeron at his best

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 5-1 win over the Devils: Bergeron at his best

GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron is Boston’s best player on most nights and the 5-1 win over the Devils on Thursday night was no different. Bergeron scored a pair of goals to get him 30 on the season and that now makes it all three members of the Perfection Line that have scored 30 or more for the second season in a row. Bergeron finished with the two goals, three points and a plus-4 rating in 17:10 of ice time and finished with four shots on net and won 9 of 19 on face-offs. It was Bergeron who got the Bruins on the board first and it was Bergeron who won the face-off in the offensive zone that led to the game-winning goal for David Pastrnak. Truthfully, he was all over the place and the best player on the ice.

BLACK EYE: Damon Severson has enjoyed some pretty good games against the Bruins as a New Jersey defenseman, but Thursday night was not one of them. Instead, Severson was on the ice for three Bruins goals, turned over four pucks in his more than 23 minutes of ice time and really didn’t make many positive plays. Certainly, Severson wasn’t the only one who struggled in a 5-1 loss where things really caved in for the Devils in the third period, but he was one of the worst offenders for a New Jersey team just struggling to get to the finish line.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were already in the driver’s seat, leading 2-1 after two periods. But New Jersey had scored in the second half of the second period to halve the lead and it appeared that there would be a competitive game in the third period. But the Bruins picked up the pace in the third while outshooting the Devils 11-7 and scored three unanswered goals that blew the Devils right out of the water. The first was a big Danton Heinen goal that started with a Sean Kuraly blocked shot and then Bergeron and Backes kicked in two more goals to close things out.

HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak looked a tiny bit rusty in his Tuesday night return to the Bruins lineup after missing the last month-plus with a thumb injury, but that was gone Thursday night. It was Pastrnak who fed Bergeron for the Bruins first goal, and then Pastrnak scored a tap-in for the game-winner in the second period after a Bergeron face-off win in the offensive zone set everything up. In all, Pastrnak finished with a goal, two points and a plus-2 in 15:51 of ice time, along with five shot attempts and a couple of hits. Even better, it looked as if Pastrnak’s game was pretty much back to normal with no complications from the splint on his left hand.

BY THE NUMBERS: 90 – the number of points for Brad Marchand after collecting three more assists. There's an outside chance of his first 100-point season if he can avoid any late-season disciplinary trouble.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: "A lot of good read-and-react plays. We could have had a few more [goals]. The chemistry was definitely back.” –Bergeron, to reporters in New Jersey about things beginning to click with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak in their second game back together again. 

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David Krejci forced to exit Bruins win with injury

David Krejci forced to exit Bruins win with injury

BOSTON – David Krejci made it through a few games without incident after a lower-body injury kept him out of the season opener, but had to leave Monday afternoon’s matinee midway through the game with something that’s assumed to be related to the same injury.

Krejci exited the first period early and then made it through two more shifts in the second period before exiting entirely in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden. There was no real update following the Bruins win, so it’s unknown if the playmaking center is going to be able to suit up for Thursday night’s big game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Obviously, he left [the game]. He tried to play through it, but didn’t come back. We’ll see how he is. [Tuesday]  is an off day, so Wednesday we’ll have a better idea. How did we play through it? We had to use other people, obviously, more.

“We put [Joakim] Nordstrom in the middle in the third. We put [Chris] Wagner in the middle a couple of times, so good to have those guys that can move around. I tried to get Charlie Coyle extra minutes. Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] always going to play his minutes, and I’m willing to bet that [Sean] Kuraly’s minutes are up too. That’s what happens. You’ve got to plug someone in there. I thought they did a good job going in there. We moved some people around and at the end of the day got through it, and hopefully Krech is good to go against Tampa.”

If Krejci can’t play on Thursday then the Bruins would likely go with Par Lindholm centering the second line as he did in the first two games of the season. The biggest concern, obviously, is if the injury to Krejci is going to be something that’s going to hamper him for a long period of time. Krejci has one assist in four games while averaging 17:01 of ice time since coming back from injury, and was just beginning to round into form after getting pretty much zero game action in the preseason. 

Krejci played 81 games last season in an impressive show of good health, but it looks like all those games played last season might just be taking a toll on him this season already. 

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Ducks

Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Ducks

Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Ducks Monday afternoon to win their fifth game in six tries to open the 2019-20 season. 

GOLD STAR: Who else but David Pastrnak? Pastrnak scored four goals for the first time in his NHL career and joined a pretty elite Bruins club that also includes Patrice Bergeron, who did it a couple of seasons ago. Pastrnak now has six goals on the season after his four-score outburst on Monday afternoon, and is in the middle of a Bruins Perfection Line that is humming on all cylinders right now after needing a game or two to get going this season. The four-goal game and the six goals in six games once again raises the question of whether Pastrnak is ever going to be able to score 50 goals in a season, and it’s something he certainly has a chance at if he can remain healthy. In this game, Pastrnak scored in all kinds of different wants including a PP strike on a one-timer from the circle, a finished goal on a 2-on-1 odd-man rush and a redirection while paying the price in front of the net.

BLACK EYE: Troy Terry was a hotshot college hockey prospect when he came on the scene a couple of years ago after starring with Ryan Donato in the Olympics. But he’s off to a brutal start this season with zero points in six games, and had no shots on net with a minus-2 rating in 16:39 of ice time for the Ducks in Monday night’s loss. He certainly looks like his confidence is low right now for a Ducks team that’s scraping and scrimping for offense, and that was reflected in what we saw on the ice. Man, if the Ducks didn’t have Rickard Rakell they would be a seriously anemic offensive team. It will be part of the growing pains for Anaheim to see if guys like Terry are going to be a part of the long term solution, and it sure hasn’t looked that way in the early going this year.

TURNING POINT: For the Bruins, it was getting their second goal of the game in the second period after largely getting outplayed by the Ducks while getting outshot 16-6 and hanging onto a slim 1-0 lead. The Bruins killed off a couple of Ducks power plays and then they scored on a 2-on-1 with Brad Marchand feeding David Pastrnak just as an Anaheim power play had ended. The goal gave the Bruins a little bit of breathing room and set them up for a third period where a couple more Pastrnak goals allowed them to pull away in the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins goaltending continues to be a big story of success for the Bruins. Halak wasn’t perfect as he allowed two goals during the game, but he was pretty darn close in the second period when he stopped 15-of-16 shots as the Ducks clearly outplayed the Bruins in the middle 20 minutes. Halak stopped a couple of odd-man, 3-on-1 rushes during that period of time and allowed the Bruins to get their stuff back in order, which they did when they scored to make it a 2-1 game late in the second period. Both Halak and Rask have been among the league’s best goalies to start the season for the Bruins and it’s making a major difference for them.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the number of goals for David Pastrnak, which also gives the Bruins Perfection Line 11 of the last 14 goals scored by the B’s overall in their last five games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “What’s on the forefront of my mind is more the other guys, what could we do to help them get going? And what can they do themselves to help themselves? So that, as a coach, is what I’m thinking about. I’m happy [the top line] is on, they’re going, the power play units found their mojo again, so that’s good. But my mind’s more on the other group. How can we help them out? We’ll keep looking at it.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the top-heavy nature of the Bruins offense right now relying on their top guys and top PP unit to score.

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