(Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

The Boston Bruins improved to 2-0-0 on the season after defeating the Nashville Predators 3-2 Saturday night at TD Garden. The performance was far from perfect and a bit lackluster at times, but the Bruins were able to stick with it and pull out the win.

A lot stood out in the one-goal victory, both good and not-so-good. But for the most part, the team’s effort was consistent. So, let’s dive into a recap of regular season game number two.

The puck handling out of the gate was a bit sloppy, especially in the neutral zone, and there were a couple of turnovers leading to some Predators’ chances. The fourth line had a strong start, with Milan Lucic bringing the physicality early and John Beecher once again using his speed to generate chances. Beecher was also solid on the penalty kill, creating a breakaway chance that Nashville goalie Juuse Saros stopped. Nashville struck first on a goal off the rush by Colton Sissons, who rifled one past Jeremy Swayman.

The Bruins looked to answer on an abbreviated power play for 1:30, and it lacked continuity. But, they got another chance on the man advantage later in the period, and it was slow to start, but James Van Riemsdyk changed that by banking one in down low off of Predators forward Dante Fabbro. It was his first goal as a Bruin, and it tied things up 1-1. Jeremy Swayman made a handful of saves on high-danger chances and kept them in the game as Nashville outshot Boston 16 to 11.

It was a strong start to the second period, but their momentum was derailed by a Jakub Lauko double minor high sticking penalty. The penalty kill was successful, but that wasn’t even close to the end of their work during the period. Boston took two more penalties after that and would kill them off, but then took another one, and Colton Sisson tipped home his second goal of the night on the delayed penalty.

The five-on-five play was much stronger than in the first period, and the Bruins had some sustained zone time mid-way through the second frame, but Saros shut the door. Boston initially took a 2-1 lead after David Pastrnak was awarded a penalty shot, burying it top shelf. But that was before Sisson’s second goal, which made it 2-2. Jeremy Swayman once again was strong in the cage, making ten saves and getting some help from defenseman Derek Forbort, who helped prevent a loose puck from crossing the goal line.

Off the bat in the third period, the Bruins had a slow start and found themselves trapped in their own end but eventually broke out of that funk. After Nashville defenseman Jeremery Lauzoun went off for a high sticking penalty, the Boston Power Play went to work again. Charlie McAvoy ripped a shot from the middle of the blue, and James Van Riemsdyk had a beautiful tip in front that beat Saros for the winger’s second goal of the game.

That gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead and would end the scoring for the night. Van Riemsdyk touched on his power play role after the game. “It’s a big part of my role and my job here to be effective there, and there’s some great players on the ice, and that makes it a lot of fun, and It’s my job to be around the net and capitalize when it’s my time to do that.”

Jeremy Swayman was solid once again in the third, shutting the door and making a bunch of key saves, and head coach Jim Montgomery credited Swayamn for being their best penalty killer. “Our fans are so knowledgeable that they’re recognizing the great effort, the great saves our number one penalty killer Swayman was making.” Swayman finished with 33 saves, and the Bruins killed off a total of six Nashville power plays on the night.

Overall, it wasn’t pretty, but the Bruins gutted it out and outlasted the Predators in a game centered around special teams. The penalty kill was spectacular, and the power play struck twice, giving Boston the final edge. The team will head west and start a four-game road trip against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.