Here are Joe Haggerty's Talking Points from the Bruins' 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars to start the 2019-20 NHL season.
GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask had a couple of tough saves in the first few periods, but was at his best in the third with 16 saves while protecting a one goal lead. His best stop was probably on Joe Pavelski around the front of the net in the second period on a second chance attempt, but he was also solid early while stopping Roope Hintz cold on a breakaway. It was an encouraging effort from the B’s goaltender that normally gets off to a slow start in October, and could be a sign that there are better things to come from Rask at the start of this season. Either way he played a major role in Boston getting off to a winning start on a night when they really only played well for a half-game.
BLACK EYE: It was not a great start for David Pastrnak, who missed the net with three shot attempts and couldn’t convert on a drop pass from Connor Clifton in the first period that should have been an easy scoring chance from the slot. Pastrnak finished with zero shots on net in 16:47 of ice time and struggled right along with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in a game where the top line forwards looked extremely rusty. The good news is that the first game is out of the way for Pastrnak now, and Boston’s top forward line now gets a chance to be much, much better moving forward.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins took control of the game early when they scored on the first two shots of the game. Brett Ritchie scored his first goal in his first game as a member of the Bruins when he fired a wrist shot through the five hole of Ben Bishop, and then Danton Heinen and the second PP unit made it a two-goal lead when he likewise scored on a wrist shot from the face-off circle. The two goals were scored in the first six minutes of the game and that was all the offense they would need for the rest of the hockey game. It’s sure good that the B’s got off to that good start against a sleepy Dallas team because they needed every bit of it for the two points.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Coyle didn’t score either of the goals, but he was still a dominant force in the game. Coyle had the direct assist on Brett Ritchie’s goal after he won a battle along the boards, and then he carried the puck in the offensive zone on the PP just seconds before Danton Heinen wired a wrist through a Coyle screen in front of Ben Bishop. So Coyle was actively involved in both Bruins goals, including the game-winning PP strike, and put up a couple of shot attempts, a takeaway and 6-for-11 wins in the face-off circle in 17:03 of ice time. It’s a good thing Coyle got off to a good start this season because many other B’s forwards are still a little slow to get going.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the number of blocked shots for Charlie McAvoy to lead the Bruins and show off the kind of rugged two-way game that he intends to play for the B’s this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Just a little bit more exciting than your average Tuesday night. It felt good, obviously whenever you can chip in. I really just wanted the two points." –Brett Ritchie to reporters in Dallas on scoring his first goal as a member of the Bruins.
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