By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (1-1-0)
Away: Ottawa Senators (1-0-1)
The Bruins are coming into Monday’s game with two games already under their belt during the 2018-19 NHL regular season. After a 7-0 blowout loss to the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, the Boston Bruins rebounded on Thursday night with a solid 4-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo.
On the other hand, the Ottawa Senators are coming off of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in their first game of the new season, followed by a 5-3 victory over their Ontario rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Bruins Warmup Lines:
For a full preview of today’s game, check out Black N’ Gold teammate, Drew Johnson’s preview.
Following the pregame celebrations, the Bruins started the Thanksgiving Day/Columbus Day game early. The Senators iced the puck after the opening draw and the Bruins top line would win the ensuing face-off in the Senators zone. After some solid board play, the puck was loose in front of Mike Condon’s crease, allowing Patrice Bergeron to bury the goal only 30 seconds into the game. 1-0 Bruins.
Bergeron’s goal is the third-fastest home-opening goal in Boston Bruins franchise history, behind only Terry O’Reilly (0:23 in 1981) and Brad Boyes (0:18 in 2006).
Not long after the Bruins make a successful penalty kill off of a Danton Heinen interference minor, the Bruins find themselves on a rush with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, but Senators goaltender Mike Condon got enough of the shot to prevent the puck from crossing the red line.
About nine minutes into the first period, with the Bruins controlling in the offensive zone, forward Noel Acciari laid a big hit on Senators forward Zack Smith. The TD Garden crowd reacted appropriately.
Right after the TV timeout, Magnus Paajarvi got a decent shot on Tuukka Rask, followed by numerous rebounds towards the Boston net. David Backes was forced to make a diving skate save on a Thomas Chabot shot to protect the one-goal lead roughly halfway through the period.
With 8:39 left to trail in the period, Bruins d-man Brandon Carlo attempted to bring the puck into the offensive zone, eventually drawing the penalty on Matt Borowiecki. On the power play, the Bruins allowed more than one opportunity for Ottawa to score shorthanded, including a Tom Pyatt breakaway that Rask had to bat away.
Late in the frame, while on another power play, the B’s circled the puck beautifully, leading to Bergeron’s second goal of the game assisted by Marchand and Pastrnak. Even without Torey Krug on that man-advantage, the Bruins rotated the puck around impressively.
On the very next shift, Boston was quite sloppy on the breakout, as Krejci passed the puck directly to Matt Duchene, who rang the far-side post. A bad turnover that almost came back to cut the Bruins lead in half.
Ottawa finished the period with some pressure in the Bruins zone, but they could not capitalize with a tally. First-period ends there.
Overall, it was a good frame for the Bruins. Not quite a perfect 20 minutes, as the Senators had many chances to score but could not bury it. Matt Duchene, Tom Pyatt, and Thomas Chabot had some opportunities, as well as some shorthanded rushes that should not necessarily happen. At the end of the day though, Boston is ahead after one period of play.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 15 OTT: 9
Score: 2-0 Bruins
To start the second period, the Boston Bruins seemed to lack a step on the Senators. David Krejci had a rush that was shut down, allowing Ottawa to go the other way. The Sens had some great offensive pressure in the Boston zone, leading to Ryan Dzingel’s first goal of the 2018-19 season. 2-1 Bruins, 2:21 into the middle period.
The poor play continued for the first five or so minutes of the second period, but the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line seemed to bring some life into the team, making some good passes in the Senators zone. Charlie McAvoy wristed a shot towards the net that was deflected by free-agent acquisition Chris Wagner. That is his first of the season and first as a Boston Bruin, assisted by McAvoy and Kuraly. 3-1 Bruins.
It was not long after the third goal by Boston that the game’s intensity really amped up. Senators forward Bobby Ryan pushed Zdeno Chara into the boards behind the net, an action that Chara was not too fond of. Ryan and Chara engaged in some pushing and shoving while play continued on the other end of the ice.
Only a couple whistles later, a scuffle occurs that leads to offsetting roughing penalties to Matt Grzelcyk and Chris Wideman and the game turned into 4-on-4 hockey for two minutes.
Ottawa had the best scoring chance during the 4-on-4 time, as Dylan DeMelo shot the puck off the far-side post. Not the first post shot for Ottawa and I don’t think it will be the last one either.
The Bruins tried out David Backes at third-line center for today’s game and Backes has looked pretty good with about eight minutes to go in the second. Some quality shots on goal, but have been stopped by Mike Condon. I’m liking him centering Heinen and Bjork.
With 7:47 remaining in the second period, Senators forward Ryan Dzingel fired a bouncing puck towards Tuukka Rask, who could not get a piece of it, making it the second of the game for Dzingel and it is a one-goal game once again. The shot was a weird one and I’m not sure if Rask can be blamed for this one. Definitely a tough one. 3-2 Boston.
Clearly, Rask wanted to redeem himself after that goal, as with about four minutes left to tick away, Tuukka made two big saves on some Ottawa scoring chances. One cross-crease chance and one redirection save right in front of the net. Looks way better than Wednesday against Washington.
The second period would come to a close and even though the Bruins still hold a lead, the Ottawa Senators made this one entertaining hockey game heading into the final period. They outshot the Bruins 12-to-6 in the second period and had the bulk of the scoring chances.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 21 OTT: 21
Score: 3-2 Bruins
The early moments of the third period consisted of a scary moment when Jake DeBrusk goes hard into the boards after being tripped up while rushing full-speed towards the net. He crashed hard into the end boards but willed himself to continue the shift and almost gain a chance on the backcheck. Be thankful today that’s he’s okay.
Ottawa starts off the third period with some good chances but turned aside by Tuukka Rask. Then, on a drive by the top line once again, Patrice Bergeron attempts a backhand towards Pastrnak in front of the net, but it deflects off of Cody Ceci, right into the Senators’ net, making it 4-2 Boston. The goal gave Bergeron the hat-trick on the day, his fourth three-goal game in his NHL career. Assists on the goal went to Marchand and McAvoy, making this game the most points and assists in a single game for McAvoy.
Now down 4-2, the Senators need to score and Alex Formenton tries to make it happen when he gets a partial-breakaway on Tuukka Rask. However, Rask dives out and pokes the puck, sending Formenton flying over top of him.
With 12:34 remaining in the third period, John Moore and Patrice Bergeron found themselves both in the box, giving Ottawa a 5-on-3 power play. Even then, Noel Acciari steals the puck and finds himself on a breakaway, but is shut down by Condon. A fantastic shorthanded effort by the Rhode Island native.
Boston’s penalty-kill has looked great today, killing off both penalties and only allowing one shot against. They are 3-for-3 on the PK with just over nine minutes left in the final regulation period.
With 3:29 to go in the period, Patrice Bergeron makes a picture-perfect backhand, saucer pass to David Pastrnak. Could not have placed that puck better on Pastrnak’s stick. Pastrnak’s second of the season, assisted by Bergeron and Chara. 5-2 Boston.
Only 32 seconds after the Pastrnak goal, Dylan DeMelo shot the puck towards the Bruins net, hitting someone in front of the net and beating Tuukka Rask. Sens make it a two-goal game right away with 2:57 left to expire. The goal was given to Bobby Ryan, assisted by DeMelo and Tierney.
It would not matter, however, as David Pastrnak would bury his second goal of the game in the empty-net, giving Boston the 6-3 lead with 1:38 remaining. Two goals and two assists now for Pastrnak in today’s contest. The goal was assisted by Brad Marchand, his seventh assist of the season.
And that would be all she wrote, the Boston Bruins defeat the Ottawa Senators, 6-3 in their home opener of the 2018-19 season. Solid outing considering a second period where they were controlled for the majority of that period.
Shots On Goal: BOS: 30 OTT: 31
Final Score: 6-3 Bruins
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS F Patrice Bergeron – 3 Goals, 1 Assist, +3 Rating
2nd Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 2 Goals, 2 Assists, +4 Rating
3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 3 Assists, 19:12 TOI
The Bruins’ next game takes place on Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers in the TD Garden in Boston.