By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
The Bruins laced up for their first matinee action of the season today against the San Jose Sharks. After a short two-game road trip, the B’s returned home to the TD Garden, once again wearing black sweaters but this time they trimmed the shoulder with gold as they donned their home uniforms. The Sharks came into the game 4-0 and in second in the Pacific Divison with eight points, while the Bruins looked to build on Friday’s win over the Sabres with Linus Ullmark once again getting the start after a strong debut in Buffalo.
There was plenty of action in the first, and it started just 28 seconds into the game. The top line of Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak showed exactly why some would consider them the best first line in the world. All three touched the puck as they quickly got in deep in the San Jose zone and set up a triangle formation. After receiving a pass below the goal line from David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron sent a touch pass into the slot where Brad Marchand caught it and shot it right into the top corner of the net.
Just three minutes later, an unlikely suspect doubled the Bruins’ lead. Derek Forbort collected a pass from Marchand at the offensive blue line and tossed a wrister towards the net. It seemed like an innocent shot, but Sharks goaltender Adin Hill couldn’t handle it and it snuck by him to make it 2-0 Bruins early.
It didn’t stop there though! After Taylor Hall drew a penalty on Brent Burns for interference, the Bruins’ power-play went to work. They nearly connected on a beautiful play that saw Patrice Bergeron’s high-slot tip attempt go off the post, but after a loose-puck scramble in the corner, the puck popped back out to him. Rather than take another shot, Bergeron played a slap pass across the ice to Pastrnak who rifled the puck home to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
Just 30 seconds later, Linus Ullmark let a shot by Sharks forward Jasper Leatherby sneak past him on the short side. It was a mistake by the Bruins’ goaltender, who slid a touch too far off of his near post, but the Bruins still took a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
End of First Period: SJS 1 – BOS 3
Shots: SJS 11 – BOS 11
After a great first period, the Bruins looked to keep their foot on the gas pedal in the second. Oskar Steen notched his first career NHL point when Jake Debrusk sniped his second of the season just over five minutes in. Luck was on the Bruins’ side on this goal, as Steen’s dump-in attempt was deflected right into Debrusk’s path. Debrusk collected the puck and ripped a wrist shot past the glove of Adin Hill, knocking him out of the game and bringing in former Toronto Maple Leaf James Reimer.
Late in the period, we got to see a little scrappiness out of the Bruins. Conor Clifton stepped up in the neutral zone to make a great check on Andrew Cogliano. Nick Bonino didn’t quite like the hit, however, and tried to take matters into his own hands. Clifton easily handled Bonino and the pair each got a pair for roughing as well as an extra two for Bonino.
End of Second Period: SJS 1 – BOS 4
Shots: SJS 16 – BOS 22
The ideal third period for the Bruins would have been uneventful, methodical, and low-scoring. That was absolutely not what happened, as a late Sharks comeback attempt resulted in a frantic finish for the Black and Gold.
The period started off with the Bruins’ first fight of the season, and to no one’s surprise, it was the man who has his own Twitter following that calls themselves Freddy’s Fight Club. Trent Frederic dropped the gloves with Jacob Middleton in a good bout that ended with both parties wrestling on the ice.
Then, late in the third, the Sharks forwards decided to channel their former captain, Joe Pavelski, and show off their tipping skills. First, it was Tomas Hertl who deflected a half-slapshot by Marc-Eduoard Vlasic past Linus Ullmark. Just two minutes late, Timo Meier allegedly kept his stick just under the crossbar to redirect Logan Couture’s wrist shot into the net. This made it a 4-3 game with five minutes to play and suddenly the Bruins weren’t so comfortable.
Despite icing the puck a few times, the Bruins did a good enough job in their own defensive zone to resist the San Jose barrage. Brad Marchand especially did a great job taking care of the puck and clearing it out when needed to preserve the lead.
End of Third Period: SJS 3 – BOS 4
Shots: SJS 26 – BOS 34
The Bruins’ next game will be this Wednesday against the Florida Panthers. Florida is a very strong team on paper this year and it will be a great test early in the season for the Bruins. They are also back in the Atlantic this year and are currently leading it, after playing in the Central last season due to the realignment.
With today’s win, the Bruins improve to 3-1 on this young season, good enough for third in the Atlantic Division, but the Panthers have not lost yet this season. It should be a great game to watch, so make sure you tune in and keep an eye on the BNG team social pages for all your Bruins-related updates!