(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

The Boston Bruins improved to 5-0-0 to start the season Sunday night after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Surprisingly, It’s the best start for the Franchise in 86 years. 

Even with every record they broke last season, they have topped that start through the first five games of the 2023-24 campaign. It was evident that the team was on the second night of a back-to-back, but luckily, they had a fresh goaltender in between the pipes and a forward taking responsibility for his blunder.

The Bruins showed spurts throughout the first period, including a shorthanded breakaway chance early on by Jake DeBrusk that rang off the post. It was an immediate response by the Bruins winger, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings after being late to a team meeting. 

The power play had three opportunities in the first frame and showed impressive puck movement, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Linus Ullmark made eight saves, and the guys in front of him did a good job keeping Anaheim to the perimeter. 

In the second period, the Bruins were caught sitting back and once again bailed out by their defending Vezina trophy-winning netminder. Ullmark made ten saves in the middle stanza, keeping Boston in the game. Offensively, things were lackluster as they only registered four shots on goal and couldn’t generate even the slightest bit of a fore-check. 

Anaheim finally opened the scoring 5:05 into the third period on a goal off the rush by Mason McTavish. Boston responded less than 90 seconds later when rookie Matt Poitras netted his first career NHL goal. It was set up by a great backhanded centering feed off the stick of Morgan Geekie, which tied it 1-1. 

That line wasn’t done yet, though. They struck once more just before the midway point of the third, and Poitras again lit the lamp to give Boston a 2-1 lead. Jake DeBrusk picked up a primary assist, throwing the puck on net and generating a rebound for Poitras to bank home. It’s probably pretty safe to assume that the Bruins 2022 second-round pick won’t be heading back to the OHL after the ninth game. The 19-year-old center has proven he belongs in the NHL in numerous different ways. 

After they took the lead, the Bruins played a tight game in their own end, limiting the Duck’s quality chances. Ullmark made another 12 saves, finishing the night with 30, and picked up the team when needed. Brad Marchand then sealed it with an empty netter, making it a 3-1 game. 

Overall, it was a solid performance from the Black and Gold staying undefeated. There is still some cleaning up to do, especially in the second period with the long change, but a reasonable effort. 

The penalty kill remained the driving unit of this team and killed off all three minors they took. They’ve only allowed one power-play goal through the first five games and are 95% on the kill. The team will wrap up their four-game road trip in their second and final meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night with an 8:30 puck drop on ESPN.